Posted by Duncan Turner on November 09, 2015 at 8:00 AM
Preemadonna is driven by two of the most passionate and talented people that I have met in my work with over 100 start-up founders. Not only are Pree and Casey wicked-smart and driven, they are also aligned around a goal of symbolizing a movement of females in tech, which I firmly believe is 100% aligned with the aspirations of their target audience. They are not just pushing tech, they are captivating a new audience with a meaningful offering, which is both inspirational and fun for tweens and teens. They are leading the way for IoT in the beauty vertical. It will be an inspirational journey to see what they do next.
At HAX and SOSV we invest in very early stage start-ups. More often than not, these start-ups will pivot their offering. Therefore, it’s crucial that we assess the team, before the product. For hardware, we often talk about the ultimate combo being the hacker and the hustler. Pree is the ultimate hustler and conversely Casey the ultimate hacker. All too often these two forces work in polar opposite directions when both are strong. This could have been the case with Preemadonna were it not for the common purpose they discovered in the offering they created. Their aligned passion, mixed with the exciting product realisation meant that 1+1 quite literally meant a whole heap more than 2. It takes talented 'do-ers' to execute a meaningful product. It takes natural born leaders to build a global company. I believe they are both.
At HAX we expose founders to the Shenzhen ecosystem so that they can leverage it to accelerate their business. We have people from all around the world coming to Shenzhen to experience this rapid acceleration. Often our founders are not from a hardware background, so we need to help them hit the ground running by providing them with skilled individuals who can help them to grow. There is a diverse mix of people at HAX from wildly different backgrounds. It is quite literally a cultural melting pot situated in the middle of one of the most rapidly evolving cities in the world. HAX prides itself on encouraging a culture that is “devoid of an ‘isms’” to coin a phrase that one of our founders once said.
This culture gives people a place where they feel comfortable to accelerate their business without distractions. Nothing could be truer of this successful acceleration than the progress that Pree and Casey made whilst on the program. Their speed was phenomenal and their output was nothing short of pure quality. As someone who has been in product development for a long time I was continuously impressed by the fidelity of the working prototypes that were demoed. I kind of miss having a high resolution picture of myself on my fingernail after every demo day or product check-in. We miss them more than I could possibly have imagined, but it won’t be long until the diva’s of hardware are back to finish off their product development for launch.