The Guest: Fran Hauser
Fran was the star of the evening, simply because, well, she taught us how to be powerful and nice at the same time. Yes it's possible. Fran is a venture capital investor at Rothenberg Ventures and formerly the president of Digital for Time Inc.'s Style Entertainment Group. At dinner, she told us how many people are surprised by how nice she is. Why is it shocking that a successful female can be nice and isn't some bull-dozing nightmare? Fran also told us about one of the first companies she rallied for when she became a VC. She kept on pushing because she believed in the site when nobody else did. That site was HelloGiggles. She's smart, direct, and...nice.
The Brand: Karma
Karma is a lifesaver, and it's not because they also hosted The Intro at their office, or because one of us works there, but because they empower you to get online from anywhere. What does that mean? Karma is a startup created out of pure hatred of how we get online: the products, the service, the passwords, the contracts...everything. Karma Go is this little device that you turn on, throw in your bag, and bring WiFi with you everywhere. You can share your connection with up to 8 people so when you head out for the weekend with your girlfriends, not only can they each get online with your Karma Go, but you also get free data when they do. That's it, really. Get it.
The Food: Eat Off Beat
As lovely as the Karma office is, there isn't an oven, so we were in search of a caterer with a great story, in need of uncovering, who didn't break the bank. Eat Off Beat checked all those boxes: the authentic meals are made and delivered by refugees resettled in NYC. It all started when Manal, the founder, moved to New York in 2013 and couldn't find decent hummus. She started making her own based off a family recipe and everyone loved it. They realized how many recipes and cultures from around the world were right here in the city and wanted to discover and share them. The food was as good as it sounds.
The Soup: Splendid Spoon
Splendid Spoon is a second time offender at The Intro and we're thrilled about it. But this time, Nicole, the founder, was there to pour. Splendid Spoon's cooking process unlocks nutrients that you don't get with raw food...so instead of feeling like you're going to pass out by juicing, you feel fulfilled and full by slurping. It doesn't feel like you're on a diet, it feels like a meal.
The Photographer: Liz Furze
Liz is one of those people who you meet and just think to yourself, "Ok...I need to get a hobby." She can write, sing (A cappella and rap) and shoot (with her camera). And she's not just OK at all of those things. She is an expert at them and she nailed the photographs from this dinner. It's hard to capture the ambiance, energy, warmth and wisdom that is present at each dinner without taking really unflattering photos (action shots aren't always the best), but she nailed it. Reach out to her if you'd like to work together, or "if you know how to get pizza grease out of silk" (she says).