Catie Cole | Founder, FROTH

"I think about how far we have come and how many obstacles we have made it through in the past. In the end, doubting yourself is the biggest obstacle to overcome in order to give your business a real chance at success."

Who inspires you? 

My parents, by showing me every day how important it is to be dedicated to and passionate about the work you choose to do.

What would you tell yourself as a teenager? 

I felt a lot of pressure as a teenager to understand what exactly I wanted to do with my life – what my real purpose was. I would now tell myself that there is no set path you have to take to be “successful,” or even to feel happy. Follow your personal aspirations and you can create your own path.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

Don’t spend time worrying about Plan B when you can be succeeding at Plan A.

What do you need to get you through each day?

Patience and iced coffee.

Briefly describe your business and inspiration for it.

Our original inspiration for FROTH stemmed from our desire to facilitate individuals’ ability to explore their cities and enjoy their nights out with friends. As we began to think through our business model and strategy, we recognized how beverage brands have significant difficulty reaching consumers through product experiences at the point-of-sale – and how we could ostensibly solve this problem, while keeping in line with our original inspiration.

FROTH (or First Round on the House) is a data-driven experiential marketing platform for beverage brands. We are working to bring the targeting and data capabilities of digital marketing to the off-line consumer experience. Through our mobile app, brands are able to target, engage, and activate consumers with on-premise product tastings. Users, in turn, enjoy their first round drinks on the house at local venues, while providing brands with their feedback and insights.

What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I am happiest when the work I do has a direct impact on the larger objective and when I can prioritize tasks as I see best. Being an entrepreneur has empowered me to take control over my own future and create something from nothing.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you wish you would have known at the beginning of your start-up career?

I wish I realized then how valuable and ultimately beneficial each unsolicited suggestion and piece of criticism would be in the end.  It is of course difficult at first to hear anything but support and praise about your project that you are spending all of your time on, but in the end, it is because of these people who offered constructive criticism that we have been able to refine our plan, take slight pivots in every which direction —and end up with a company that we are now so proud of.

What is the biggest mistake you have made in your business to date and how have you moved past it?

For the first several months running FROTH, we were very nearsighted, working to accomplish our short-term goals and confronting issues as they came up. This work structure seemingly led to many additional problems that could have been avoided had we been more proactive and thoughtful in our approach. We have moved past this by continuously refocusing our efforts to assure we are always making progress towards our larger, long-term objectives.

What is your biggest fear as an entrepreneur?

No matter how well things may be going, there is always a fear that you may not succeed in the end – and that you may let down those who have helped you along the way. While difficult to disregard this fear, it is important to stay positive and confident.

What aspects of being a start-up entrepreneur do you love and/or dislike?

I both love and dislike the infinite responsibilities that come along with being an entrepreneur; while they undoubtedly garner self-influence and intrinsic motivation, it is important to not let the endless work consume you.

What do you think the most important attribute a female entrepreneur/ business owner can possess?

Confidence. Since starting FROTH last year, I have learned how important it is to have a distinct voice in the crowd and to be confident in my own ideas and ability – something that is especially true for female founders in today’s world. In the end, it is you alone who has the power and influence to negate others’ assumptions.