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Photo courtesy of GreenBlender

Jenna Tanenbaum and her husband, Amir Cohen, came up with the idea for GreenBlender while she worked at ClassPass.

Employees at startups often have their own entrepreneurial aspirations. Just ask Jenna Tanenbaum, president of GreenBlender, a subscription service that delivers recipes and fresh ingredients for smoothies. Tanenbaum left her job as marketing manager at ClassPass during the summer of 2014 just as the fitness startup was on the verge of success. In fact, she vividly remembers standing in a Bronx warehouse at 3 a.m., her hands stained pink from chopping beets. The day before ClassPass announced that it had raised several million dollars but Tanenbaum no longer worked there.

“All I could think was what am I doing here,” she says. “I have no regrets about leaving. But there were times when I wondered what am I doing with my life and that moment really sticks out.”

The idea for GreenBlender came from her husband, Amir Cohen, the company’s CEO. “I picked up a blender from craigslist and started making smoothies every morning, and I would give him the leftovers on my way out the door to ClassPass,” she says. So while she was working at ClassPass, Cohen was working on their passion project, building a website, developing the concept and figuring out pricing for GreenBlender. During a weeklong visit with her parents, Tanebaum discovered she spent the entire time working on recipes, content and photos for GreenBlender. “This made me realize it was more than just an idea and it had legs,” she says.

So Tanenbaum and Cohen set a goal: Once GreenBlender had 20 subscribers a week, she would quit her job at ClassPass. It didn’t take long to reach that milestone. She took the leap in June 2014 and since then GreenBlender has shipped more than 3 million smoothie kits.

But before saying goodbye to ClassPass, Tanebaum used her day job to learn as much as she could about running a business. “When you’re working for someone else, you have the opportunity to learn how a business is run and how to retain employees,” she says. Today, GreenBlender has 100 employees and three warehouses across the country as well as a team based in New York City.

Get validation for your idea

Photo courtesy of Katherine Pekala

Bulletin co-founders Ali Kreigsman and Alana Branston met while working at Contently.

Bulletin co-founders Ali Kreigsman and Alana Branston met while working in the sales department at the content marketing platform Contently. &nbsp;It didn’t take long for the desk mates to discover they shared an interested in creating a digital magazine where women could read about emerging brands and shop for those products. In March 2015, they started working on their side project after hours and on weekends. When the first issue went live in August 2015, Kriegsman started to dream big and asked Branston, “What if we raised money and could do this full time?”

In fall 2015, they applied to the startup accelerator Y Combinator for its winter 2016 class. Although they didn’t get into the core program, they were accepted into a three-month remote program and given $20,000 plus an opportunity to work with a Y Combinator partner.&nbsp;“Once we knew we got in, it was obvious that we should give our dream a chance,” Kriegsman says. “Getting the validation of support of Y Combinator, even if it was only $20,000, felt like a huge signal that they believed in us and our idea.”

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Photo courtesy of GreenBlender

Jenna Tanenbaum and her husband, Amir Cohen, came up with the idea for GreenBlender while she worked at ClassPass.

Employees at startups often have their own entrepreneurial aspirations. Just ask Jenna Tanenbaum, president of GreenBlender, a subscription service that delivers recipes and fresh ingredients for smoothies. Tanenbaum left her job as marketing manager at ClassPass during the summer of 2014 just as the fitness startup was on the verge of success. In fact, she vividly remembers standing in a Bronx warehouse at 3 a.m., her hands stained pink from chopping beets. The day before ClassPass announced that it had raised several million dollars but Tanenbaum no longer worked there.

“All I could think was what am I doing here,” she says. “I have no regrets about leaving. But there were times when I wondered what am I doing with my life and that moment really sticks out.”

The idea for GreenBlender came from her husband, Amir Cohen, the company’s CEO. “I picked up a blender from craigslist and started making smoothies every morning, and I would give him the leftovers on my way out the door to ClassPass,” she says. So while she was working at ClassPass, Cohen was working on their passion project, building a website, developing the concept and figuring out pricing for GreenBlender. During a weeklong visit with her parents, Tanebaum discovered she spent the entire time working on recipes, content and photos for GreenBlender. “This made me realize it was more than just an idea and it had legs,” she says.

So Tanenbaum and Cohen set a goal: Once GreenBlender had 20 subscribers a week, she would quit her job at ClassPass. It didn’t take long to reach that milestone. She took the leap in June 2014 and since then GreenBlender has shipped more than 3 million smoothie kits.

But before saying goodbye to ClassPass, Tanebaum used her day job to learn as much as she could about running a business. “When you’re working for someone else, you have the opportunity to learn how a business is run and how to retain employees,” she says. Today, GreenBlender has 100 employees and three warehouses across the country as well as a team based in New York City.

Get validation for your idea

Photo courtesy of Katherine Pekala

Bulletin co-founders Ali Kreigsman and Alana Branston met while working at Contently.

Bulletin co-founders Ali Kreigsman and Alana Branston met while working in the sales department at the content marketing platform Contently.  It didn’t take long for the desk mates to discover they shared an interested in creating a digital magazine where women could read about emerging brands and shop for those products. In March 2015, they started working on their side project after hours and on weekends. When the first issue went live in August 2015, Kriegsman started to dream big and asked Branston, “What if we raised money and could do this full time?”

In fall 2015, they applied to the startup accelerator Y Combinator for its winter 2016 class. Although they didn’t get into the core program, they were accepted into a three-month remote program and given $20,000 plus an opportunity to work with a Y Combinator partner. “Once we knew we got in, it was obvious that we should give our dream a chance,” Kriegsman says. “Getting the validation of support of Y Combinator, even if it was only $20,000, felt like a huge signal that they believed in us and our idea.”

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