Perfect Pitch: Drew Stern
Founder, CEO, Actor
Current City: Chicago.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: CEO & Co-Founder of Stageyo- the world's first digital marketplace for stage performers, venues and their supporters.
Notable Prior Jobs: Serial entrepreneur and start-up leader with 3 exits in the last decade. Former Founder & CEO of Esquify, a venture-backed AI-driven management platform for lawyers, which was acquired by Xact Data Discovery (XDD) in 2018. Led Product and Technology at XDD, followed by our acquisition merger with Consilio. Other notable leadership positions include Salesforce/Buddy Media, American Express and Sprout Social. MBA from NYU Stern.
When I Started Performing: I started performing in community theater and singing in choir at 5 years old.
Performing Arts Background: I've been a life-long performer. I grew up in a musical family. Attended a performing arts high school and then went on to dual-degree program at Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music. After graduating Tufts, I received my Masters in Music Theater from NYU. I then went on to become a professional theater actor in NYC and member of Actors Equity Association in the early 2000's before transitioning into business. Favorite credits include RagTime, Titanic, Forever Plaid, Fiddler, Evita & I Love You You're Perfect Now Change.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? Passion. Creativity. Teamwork. Being a performer prepared me for the challenges of filling an empty space with something new and beautiful. That it takes a passionate love for what one is creating and belief in oneself to breath something new into the world. Passion is the fuel that will take you through the highs and the lows of entrepreneurship. As performers, we tap into creativity in our craft. In business creativity is key, not only for the idea generation of products or services, but also for the scrappy business solutions entrepreneurs must create in order to succeed. Creative business thinking and being able to see a new solution for an old (or new) problem helps us grow. And teamwork... as performers we learn early on that all performance is a team effort. From our teachers and mentors that support us, to our creative colleagues and collaborators, to our communities, families and supporters- it's a team effort to perform. And it's the same for entrepreneurship. Strong teamwork makes us thrive through the support we receive both from our teams we work with everyday, but also from our communities of supporters and mentors that are there to lift us up. Being able to actively listen, bounce ideas, and direct a chorus of start-up colleagues in a team setting is just like putting on a show. And, launching a new company is just like the curtain going up on opening night!
Favorite Performer: Audra McDonald.
Follow this Performer:
Twitter - @drewsocial
Instagram - @drewsocial
LinkedIn - /in/drewastern/