In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Debora LaBudde, founder and CEO of MEMO, a retail technology company serving the luxury goods and fine jewelry industries. Listen in as LaBudde discusses her career journey and what led her to found MEMO, how the name MEMO was inspired by the traditional jewelry industry, and the company’s three-day at-home try-on experience.

LaBudde explains that MEMO is dedicated to removing the in-store pressures associated with fine jewelry shopping. She details how MEMO’s customer experience differs from that of other fine jewelry brands, as well as how the company has evolved due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lastly, LaBudde shares the leadership strategies she’s implemented during this unusual time to keep her team motivated, what she’s looking forward to in retail innovation in the future, and how informal mentorships have played a role in her career.

Prior to founding MEMO, Debora K. LaBudde was founder and managing general partner of Envoi Ventures, a closely held venture capital fund making investments in seed and early stage companies in the life science and technology sector. Earlier in her career, LaBudde was director of business development for Bausch & Lomb, where she was involved in over a dozen successful M&A and licensing transactions for the company. She was also a co-founder and head of business development of a venture capital-backed B-to-B e-commerce/supply chain company spun off from Bausch & Lomb.

LaBudde has served on the boards of several early stage technology companies and has been an active advisor to numerous startups, establishing The Entrepreneurs Network, a nonprofit training and networking organization for technology entrepreneurs. She previously served on the Advisory Board for Syracuse University’s Newhouse Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, and is a frequent speaker and panelist on entrepreneurship and early stage investing. LaBudde received a BA in Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Rochester and a MBA from the William E. Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

Date: August 25, 2020

Credits: Deborah LaBudde

Duration: 12:56