Welcoming Tara Nicholle-Nelson as a Lightspeed Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
We are excited to welcome Tara to the Lightspeed team. We first met Tara a few months ago after reading her excellent post on how to do content marketing right. She learned these best practices while running marketing for MyFitnessPal. While there, she more than doubled users to 100 million and drove a 25% increase in user engagement, which ultimately led to the company’s $475 million acquisition by Under Armour.
Tara continued to run marketing for Under Armour Connected Fitness before taking the experience that she has developed to start her own consulting company, and to write a book. She has also created brand, growth, media and content strategies for brands like HGTV, Trulia, ING Direct, Lookout Mobile Security, Chegg, Eventbrite and many others. It’s no wonder that she was recently named the #1 woman Silicon Valley tech companies should be naming to their boards by Business Insider.
Tara described herself to us as “the black church lady who was always taking her friends to service,” and this got us to talking about an idea that we’ve been excited about for some time. We’ve long believed that people’s interests don’t change, but the way that their interests get instantiated do change. In the context of video, we believe that every channel and every genre in the TV Guide grid will have an analogue in a mobile and OTT world. And TV is unravelling fast. We have backed this up with our investments in Mic (taking on CNN), Cheddar (taking on CNBC) and Little Things (taking on daytime TV). And we believe that the same is true for a popular TV genre that hasn’t migrated to mobile yet — religious and uplifting content.
There are plenty of Bible apps. The one from YouVersion is the leader with over 280 million downloads across over a thousand languages. It was built by an evangelical church in Oklahoma in 2008 and has gone from strength to stronger. But Tara believes, and we agree, that there is a larger opportunity, beyond Bible study, that can encapsulate the faith and the practice of the “Christian Left” and a broader group of spiritual people who believe in love and service of those in need.
We are excited to have Tara join Lightspeed as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to explore this idea more fully. (Tara shares more about what’s next here.) Stay tuned as we expect great things from her!
To join Tara’s “movement,” you can take the SoulTour survey to share what you do to care for your soul and spirit, and help her understand what would help you live a more soulful life: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZHYBSP7