Chief’s Childers and Kaplan speak at Disrupt about how community built their unicorn


Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan think the saying “It takes a village” is more than just a saying. In 2019, the two women founded Chief, a private membership network designed to connect and empower women leaders.

Chief clearly struck a chord and filled a need. In March — three years after launch — the startup reached a valuation of $1.1 billion after a $100 million Series B raise led by Alphabet’s CapitalG. General Catalyst, GGV Capital, Inspired Capital, Primary Ventures and Flybridge also joined the round.

That kind of growth in such a short amount of time is impressive. Even more so considering it took place during the pandemic – with what they originally envisioned as a personal product. Their ability to adapt and scale are just two of the reasons we’re excited to have both co-founders – Childers as CEO and Kaplan as Chief Brand Officer – join us for a fireside chat at TechCrunch Disrupt October 8-20 in San Francisco will accompany.

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Membership — by invitation or application only — currently includes more than 12,000 executives from more than 8,500 companies, including American Express, Apple, Chobani, Goldman Sachs, Google, HBO, NASA, Nike and Pfizer. According to the startup, there is a waiting list of more than 60,000 women worldwide.

We can’t wait to dive into Chief’s story and learn more about what fueled its rapid growth and how the startup plans to scale in the future. We’re also curious about the challenges Childers and Kaplan faced and how they strategize for something as subjective and ephemeral as community.

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Also, check out what Carolyn Childers has to say about building a business focused on leadership in this episode of our Found podcast.

TechCrunch Disrupt will be held October 18-20 in San Francisco, with an online day on October 21. Buy your pass now and save up to $700 off full admission before prices increase on October 15th.

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