Team: Lavie Laundry
Team members: Vipin Bhatia, Ashley Cornwell, Trey Fisher, Aayushi Jangid, Bryan Pine, Connie Sundjojo, Enxhi Zekthi, Katherine Zieglebauer
Co-founders and Evening program alumni Ashley Cornwell and Katherine Zieglebauer, came up with the idea for Lavie Laundry while students at Booth. They didn’t want to have to worry about laundry. They saw a need and realized there was a gap in the market.
Ashley explained that Lavie Laundry differentiates itself from other laundry competitors by tailoring its service to fit each person’s individual needs- laundry is done in a person’s home exactly to their specifications and put away after. Ashley says, “We partner with property management companies. We provide a personal consultation where you meet the person who will be working on your laundry, you show them around your home and explain your specific needs. This builds layers of trust. “
The Lavie Laundry team explains how the team came together throughout the process. Each member chose to join for specific reasons and had a variety of skill sets to add to the mix. Most were students together in Booth’s Evening program. Vipin and Aayushi both met Ashley in previous classes and personally connected with the idea. Vipin had past entrepreneurial experience and wanted to help with strategy and client management, while Aayushi was looking for experience in consumer services. Some teammates wanted to apply their existing skillsets to entrepreneurial endeavors: Angie learned that the team was looking for a financial consultant and working with Lavie allowed her to familiarize herself with what investors are looking for, while Connie’s background was in marketing and she was eager to gain exposure to entrepreneurial marketing. Bryan, a student in Booth’s Full-Time MBA program, connected to the team during a startup networking event. Working with Lavie allowed him to explore the startup space and decide if entrepreneurship was something he wanted to pursue further.
The team took their idea through the New Venture Strategy class, where they learned about a plethora of topics, including legal issues, presenting more effectively, and what venture capitalists are looking for. The team then entered Lavie Laundry in the New Venture Challenge, one of the top-ranked accelerator programs in the nation. All the while, teams were tasked with figuring out strategy and how to grow their businesses. Vipin says, “Class forces you to hash out the operational details of the idea and to stay honest and realistic about it. We learned and brainstormed how we can best position ourselves and leverage our industries to create aggressive growth plans.” Angie adds, “There are a lot of challenges along the way. There’s a lot of uncertainty you need to navigate through, you might have a vision initially and then you go into trial and error mode. You need to change the original vision. That’s one of the beauties of working with a startup that you go through these challenges of who we are, who are our customers are, who our target audience is. It shows the power of teamwork through it all.”
Lavie Laundry’s team agrees that it is incredible to reflect back and see how much their idea has grown. Ashley and Connie graduated in 2019 and are now working on Lavie Laundry full-time. Ashley says, “Booth was great at helping me figure out the model of the company, and has been a great resource even as I have graduated. I am thankful for everything the experience at Booth has given me, and am very excited to continuing developing long after I have graduated”.