Cincinnati, OH

Michael Wohlschlaeger, founder of StyleZen

How did you start your business? 
Both my wife, Megan, and I have always been clothes horses. I am also a huge data geek. StyleZen is a combination of those two passions. I feel like there is a huge amount of potential around quantifying what we like and using that information to make fashion discovery simple, fun and relevant. Those are really the driving forces behind StyleZen. 
How did you come up the idea for your business?
I believe that there is an amazing amount of potential in using technology and data to not only make our lives easier, but to make it more fun and fulfilling. StyleZen was born out of the belief that we, as consumers, generate extremely valuable data about what we like and all we have to do is harness that information to help consumers discover fashion they love.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help? 
We were lucky enough to be part of the most recent class at The Brandery. Our mentors and the connections we made there have had a huge influence on where we are today, from tough feedback on branding, to introductions to key industry contacts.

What inspires you?
I love solutions to very tough problems that look simple and effortless in execution. When you look at products from Apple or websites like Pinterest, everything just seems to make sense and is visually pleasing. The genius is in making the very complex seem simple and easy to the consumer. 

What’s next for you and your company? 
We will be launching our online application in the next few weeks and are very excited to get feedback from consumers and potential partners. We are also in the middle of fundraising and are hoping to set up a permanent presence in Cincinnati. 

Compiled by Robin Donovan