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Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring and connecting over 2,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 600 cities. We nurture startup ecosystems in 125+ countries through events, media, and partnerships with organizations like Google for Startups. Founded in Silicon Valley, Startup Grind has now hosted over 6,000 fireside chats since its founding.
The cornerstone of our global community are the monthly events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators, and investors who share lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Startup Grind has helped millions of entrepreneurs build their businesses, connect with strategic partners and secure funding.
Cassie Betts, a leading advocate for women- and minority-owned businesses, was homeless at the age of 19. Through several resources and local organizations, she was able to go from sleeping on bus stop benches and cardboard boxes to acting and modeling in Coca-Cola® commercials as well as TV & film. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and maintained a lucrative career in the fashion industry. Cassie founded a fashion-tech company called District2.co in 2013 out of the South LA Incubator through Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) as well as Silicon Beach's Stubbs Alderton & Markiles Preccelerator. District2 helps to connect fashion designers with local apparel manufacturers. She is also a founding member of Black Women in Tech, co-produces Urban Tech Connect - an annual tech conference headed by Plugin South LA, and is a volunteer pitch coach and Lead Consultant for the Vermont Slauson Economic Development (VSEDC) YEC- Youth Entrepreneurial Challenge. Forbes dubbed her “The Woman Turning South LA into Startup Land”. She is the catalyst and visionary behind South LA’s first Tech Center opening Spring 2020 with VSEDC in partnership with Annenberg Tech, Best Buy, and PledgeLA. Cassie is dedicated to increasing diversity in tech and utilizing high-level technical training to combat the ill effects of gentrification.
Cassie has 15 years in the apparel industry, working with such companies as Disney, MGA, Warner Bros and having her designs grace the retail floors of Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, JC Penny, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Target (to name a few), Cassie is a Fashion Virtuoso. She may look like a youngster, but millions of dollars in fashion industry revenue have stemmed from her fingertips.
Cassie has 15 years in the apparel industry, working with such companies as Disney, MGA, Warner Bros and having her designs grace the retail floors of Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, JC Penny, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Target (to name a few), Cassie is a Fashion Virtuoso. She may look like a youngster, but millions of dollars in fashion industry revenue have stemmed from her fingertips. She is a custom couture wedding & red carpet dress designer and a tech-junkie. She has had experiences w/ several companies, hacking their antiquated workflow, introducing technologies & optimization which resulted in a 100-200% increase in revenue growth over the year. After noticing a huge void in technological advancement within the garment industry, she partnered with a #1 web & software development company out of the Ukraine, with the simple task of evolving the Underground Fashion Industry. She also enjoys MMA, boxing, going to the gun range & re-living her modeling/ acting/ video vixen days. [Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, FIDM]