Innovators: Co-Founder and CEO of Stray Boots, Avi Millman

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Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.

Avi Millman, Co-founder & CEO of Stray Boots, has spent his professional career rapidly growing businesses. After graduating cum laude from Princeton with a BA in History, he joined national apparel retailer Steve and Barry’s, working for the COO in its internal consulting group. Rising to Director of Logistics, he grew the company’s supply chain systems from handling 60 stores to over 200 in two years, supporting annual sales of over $500 Million. He then went on to join beverage startup Q Tonic, now Q Drinks, as the fourth employee, where he grew top line sales by 500% in one year, adding prominent clients such as the Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, and Fairway Market. An avid traveler and life-long game enthusiast, Avi started Stray Boots after a trip to Rome, where he realized the guidebook experience was far too passive for the digital era.

What do you enjoy most about your work and why?

Though it’s corny, what I most enjoy is seeing smiles on customers faces and knowing that we’re creating incredibly happy, memorable moments in people’s lives. We’re not just creating a new feature or a way to make money; rather, we’re giving people a way to have fun together and actually do something in the real world that adds value to their lives. I regularly look at our customer photo feed and that makes me appreciate why we started doing this and continue to pour ourselves into the work. Reading customer emails about how much they learned doing our tours and what an amazing time they had really makes the hard work worthwhile on a day in and day out basis. For instance, one mom emailed us about when she and her daughter returned home from one of our games, she had no idea how much her daughter had leaned until her kid started relaying all of the facts to her husband....

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