The Real Women of Home Performance: Lauren Salz
Lauren Salz is the co-founder and COO of Sealed, a company with a simple purpose: to make home comfort improvements a no-brainer. Lauren manages the Sealed's software and patent-pending analytics, as well as the recently announced Sealed HomeAdvance fund.
Julie Caracino (Home Performance Coalition): How did you get started in the home performance industry?
Lauren Salz: By accident! I have a background in finance, but I was looking to work at an early stage company and learn something new. I met with around 20 startup founders in various industries, and I was lucky enough to meet Andy Frank (Founder and President of Sealed). I knew next to nothing about the industry, but I had a feeling that this was the right idea with the right person behind it.
JC: What has been your greatest accomplishment so far? What are you most proud of?
LS: My biggest accomplishment so far is bringing to market a product that makes it possible for homeowners to pay for efficiency improvements with their savings. It’s a concept that people in the industry have been talking about and trying to do for years, and we’ve finally made it a reality. I’m especially proud of the incredible team we’ve built at Sealed that has made this possible.
JC: When you started out, what were some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome these?
LS: It was a very daunting task to build the software, analytics, and financing capabilities to launch our product, basically from scratch. It’s one thing to have a big idea. It’s quite another thing to bring that big idea to fruition. I’ve found the best way to tackle big challenges like that is to make small improvements in short time frames, test out what you have, and iterate quickly based on feedback.
JC: What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
LS: Making a big difference in our customers’ quality of life. Our customers have severe drafts and are uncomfortable in their own homes, especially during the winter. Many of them would be unable or unwilling to pay large out-of-pocket sums to improve their homes, and our product makes it possible for them.
JC: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges for women in this industry?
LS: There are very few women in the industry, so sometimes it can be intimidating to deal with mainly men, many who have been around the industry for a long time.
JC: What advice would you give to a woman starting out in the home performance industry?
LS: Don’t be intimidated! When I first started out in home performance, I was a 25 year old with no industry-specific experience. It took a while for me to feel confident when meeting with important partners, but I definitely took a 'fake it ‘til you make it' approach. It works!
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