Prioritize the problem you're solving over the way you solve it.
Lauren McDanell, VP of Strategy & Growth at SEED SPOT, has deep respect and gratitude for the impact-driven entrepreneurs who take community problems head on with their innovative products, services, and technologies. Lauren leverages her experience supporting hundreds of early-stage startups (from Minnesota to Madagascar!) to set strategic vision for SEED SPOT and build the internal architecture of resources, partnerships, and worldclass support systems that has earned the nonprofit organization the title of World Top 5 Private Business Accelerator and Top 3 Social Innovation from UBI Global.
Bringing over a decade of "rolling up her sleeves" in and alongside VC-backed startups, Lauren pulls together funders, entrepreneurship education, networks of mentors, advisors, and capital partners, and world class resources to empower founders to launch, grow, and scale their social impact ventures.
An expert in user-driven innovation, impact-driven product and service development, market validation, and achieving early traction, Lauren has been featured at conferences, in news media and startup blogs, and has led innovative corporate training programs at American Express, Booz Allen, and EY, and at major global conferences including SOCAP and Net Impact. Her fun, upbeat training style encourages experimentation, collaboration, and purposeful action that drives measurable results.
Lauren is a native Arizonan who graduated with honors from the University of Arizona after completing original research on MySpace users’ brand friendships. She started her career at a venture-backed toy company where she partnered with brands like Disney, Mattel, and DC Comics, and launched dozens of new products into retailers including Walmart, Toys R Us, and Party City. She later designed and created a new cosmetic brand sold into Ulta Beauty and Sally Beauty, and spent time as a Market Research Manager for brands such as MillerCoors and ConAgra.
Prior to SEED SPOT, Lauren served as Program Director for Tallwave’s High Tide tech startup accelerator program, performed venture` due diligence at Tallwave Capital, and joined one of the programs’ ventures, LocalWork.com, as Director of Marketing. In her career, Lauren has advised ventures in industies ranging from technology to healthcare, education, consumer packaged goods, nonprofit, and more.