Our fifth event featured a panel of local entrepreneurs who are growing their businesses in Burlington. We heard from Sascha Mayer of Mamava, Gary Margolis of Social Sentinel, Ethan Bechtel of OhMD, and Abbott Stark of Ogee, about the advantages and challenges of running a startup in Burlington. Cairn Cross from FreshTracks Capital moderated the All Star panel and drilled down on what we can do to make the Queen City an even better place to start and grow a business.
WATCH THE PANEL:
About the Speakers:
Sascha is the creator, co-founder, and CEO of Mamava, Inc. Mamava designs solutions for nursing mamas on the go. Mama founded, women owned, and B Certified, Mamava is the leading expert in lactation spaces, integrating the biological, physical, and emotional needs of nursing mamas into smart solutions.
Sascha started with Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (Mamava’s birthplace) in 1995. She helped to develop the Living Brand®, Solidarity’s philosophy on brands and brand creation. As Strategy Director, Sascha participated in the creation of many brands, provided account planning services and designed and facilitated multidisciplinary creative-collaborative sessions with numerous companies, including HP, Levi’s, Lululemon, Merrell Apparel, Nike Women. Before joining Solidarity, Sascha worked for the office of Congressman (now Senator) Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), where she served as staff assistant and then assistant press secretary.
Sascha is a founding board member of Mobius, a mentoring nonprofit, and has a BA in sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Vermont. She lives in Williston, VT with her husband, and two children where she gardens, cooks, and tends to her nine chickens.
After a decade long career in beauty, launching best-selling products for a number of globally dominate brands, Stark combined his passion for an eco-lifestyle with his wealth of knowledge in product development and formulation to fill a market void with Ogee’s clinically effective, organic certified skincare products.
Ogee launched in September, 2016 to rave beauty editor reviews, and rapidly expanded through ecommerce sales. Retail expansion lead to Ogee products being carried in 75 indie beauty doors nationwide and being selected for inclusion in Free People’s (an Urban Outfitters company) new Beauty & Wellness collection.
Stark is active in Vermont’s entrepreneur ecosystem. In 2016, Ogee won LaunchVT, which included $30,000 cash and $45,000 of in-kind prizes, and FreshTracks Capital’s Peak Pitch competition. Stark volunteers time with the Center for Women and Enterprise, assisting up-and-coming founders with their business plans and pitches.
Dr. Gary J. Margolis
Dr. Gary J. Margolis has more than 20 years of distinguished
experience in law enforcement and public safety, and over a decade
in higher education safety and security. Prior to co-founding Social
Sentinel, Inc., he co-founded Margolis Healy & Associates, LLC, a professional services firm specializing in campus safety, security, and regulatory compliance for higher education and K-12.
Under his leadership as Chief of Police at the University of Vermont
(1998 – 2009), UVM Police Services became a three-time
internationally accredited police agency through the Commission on
Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). In addition, he has served as a police executive, police academy administrator,
police officer and deputy sheriff.
Ethan Bechtel has spent his career in digital health. As the CEO of MBA HealthGroup, his team of 100 provided technical and implementation services nationwide for hospitals and practices implementing electronic health records. In 2013, Ethan and his brother Nate co-founded OhMD, a platform for simplifying and improving communication in healthcare for patients and doctors.