Jenzy Continues on Rapid Growth Pace
Aug 28, 2019
With applications open for The 2019 AWE Pitch, it’s time to check in on the progress of last year’s winning team.
Eve Ackerley and Carolyn Horner run Jenzy, an e-commerce platform powered by innovative sizing technology that makes it easy to buy the right size shoes for young kids online.
Since The Pitch, Jenzy has been building momentum. In April, the company was 1 of 10 accepted into Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab is a 6-month program run by Carla Harris, a trailblazing woman who, among many roles, was appointed by President Obama to chair the National Women’s Council and is on the Board of Directors at Walmart. Jenzy’s founders benefited immensely from the mentorship, programming, and network.
The investment allowed them to hit new milestones. Over the past few months, Jenzy has grown from selling a few shoes per month to selling a few shoes per day. The founders cite three main reasons for their growth:
- They’ve successfully optimized every part of the app funnel to achieve high conversions from download to checkout. Alongside that effort, the team has continued to build their datasets of shoes and foot growth, recently sizing their 25,000th foot.
- They’ve found ways to target large cohorts of parents. For example, they’re collaborating with Super Soccer Stars, which serves 300K toddlers nationally.
- They’ve also tripled the number of brands offered on the Jenzy e-commerce platform. They’ve focused on bringing parents shoes that are supportive, durable, and well-fitting.
“The AWE network has been a great way to stay engaged with the Philadelphia community, especially when we were raising money earlier this year,” shared Carolyn. “Opportunities such as pitching MADV and Robin Hood Ventures came directly through talking with Ellen Weber at an AWE event.”
Additionally, conversations with women like Karen Griffith Gryga, this year’s Iris Newman Awardee, have helped the team to strengthen and prepare their pitch.
Apart from investment conversations, Raegan Moya Jones, last year’s Vertex Awardee, has also met with the founders. Through meetings in NYC, they got the opportunity to learn more about marketing and operating a children’s brand.
“Raegan has been so generous with her time,” shared Eve. “She worked through some big operational and fundraising questions with us. She is also connecting us to some technical people and some angel investors in her network.”
“Making valuable connections (of many types) is a big value add for AWE members,” said Rose Cook, AWE’s current president. “But it’s important that founders take action to follow up with the connections we facilitate for them. Carolyn and Eve did that - and reaped the benefits as a result! It’s great to see this powerful network in action.”
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