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Entrepreneurship Essentials (E2): You Have a Consumer Products Idea, Now What?

Have a consumer products idea but not sure how to get started? Hear from the Founder of Oars + Alps a men’s skincare brand and the COO of the Spice House on what it takes to create a viable consumer products company in a very competitive world. This workshop is great for individuals who are at early stages of their ideation or who are curious about what it takes to scale on the marketing and operations side.


About the Facilitators: //

  • Jamie Shah, MBA ’13, is currently the chief operating officer at The Spice House. Prior to The Spice House, Jamie spent eight years at her family’s business, Chem-Impex, running operations, customer service, and quality. She was also previously the lead associate at Hyde Park Angels and Hyde Park Venture Partners, and was selected as a Kauffman Fellows Finalist. She started her career at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the consumer retail group, and then was a financial analyst for Google Maps. Jamie earned a dual degree (BBA and BS) from The University of Wisconsin – Madison in finance, investments, and banking and Spanish literature and language, and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

  • Mia Saini Duchnowski is a journalist, engineer, investor, and a successful entrepreneur who sold her first VC-backed company, Oars + Alps, to SC Johnson. Currently, she serves as the cofounder and Board Member of Oars + Alps, a digitally native skin care brand for people who lead an active, on-the-go lifestyle. The products are made with naturally-derived, premium ingredients and are sold on Target and Amazon to name a few. The company launched in 2015 after Mia quit her high-profile job as a TV reporter/anchor with Bloomberg TV, one of the largest financial TV networks in the world.Mia spent over three years with Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong and in New York City where she was responsible for global economic, political and business coverage. She was the first person at the network to interview the chairman of Microsoft, John Thompson, after he became chairman. She’s interviewed hundreds of CEOs and heads of states including the former CEO of Burberry, Angela Ahrendts, and Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson. She’s routinely covered breaking news stories, such as the disappearance of MH 370, Nelson Mandela’s death, and Steve Job’s passing.

    Prior to joining Bloomberg in June 2011, Mia served as an anchor and reporter for Forbes TV. She reported from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as interviewed prominent business leaders including Warren Buffett, former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson, former Bear Stearns CEO Ace Greenberg, SAP CEO Bill McDermott and more. Earlier in her career, Mia was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, working in hedge fund sales and marketing. There, she helped establish strategic relationships with hedge funds representing over $1.2 billion in portfolio value.

    Mia earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She earned a double major from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in neuroscience and media studies, and a double minor in civil engineering and management science. While at MIT, she interned at NASA Ames Research Center doing artificial intelligence research. She was featured in Glamour Magazine as one of their Top Ten College Women in 2004.

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