A former technology startup executive, Courtney Nichols Gould, 45, reconnected with an old acquaintance to start a business. She wasn’t expecting romance, too. The co-CEO of Marina Del Rey, California-based SmartyPants describes how it grew from its tumultuous start to its current success, raising $4.8 million through crowdfunding site CircleUp and hitting nearly $5 million in revenue last year. Oh, and she married her co-founder in 2011.
I came out to Los Angeles from New York City in February 2009. I had been COO of Clear, the airport-security fast pass, and took a year and a half off to think about my next gig. When I started thinking about staying in L.A., two people said, “Oh, you should talk to Gordon Gould,” which was very funny, because I knew Gordon from way-back-when in New York, when we were both in the dot-com world.
Gordon was working on an idea about children’s brain health and how nutrition could contribute to it. It seemed like a really worthy ambition to create a high-quality all-in-one vitamin that addressed all the compliance hurdles, and to wrap it in a brand with some charm. That stood for something.