Meet Komae co-founder Audrey Wallace
Audrey Wallace has found her calling. After graduating from Baldwin Wallace with a degree in psychology and communications, she floated through a few jobs in her fields of interest, but talk to her for ten seconds and you realize she’s exactly where she wants to be now. She’s an entrepreneur, which would make others cringe because of the uncertainty, the long hours, the hustle. Not Audrey.
Along with Amy Husted, she co-founded Komae, an app to help parents save on babysitting by swapping off with parents they trust so date nights and big events become a lot easier to afford. They are solving a problem they have, as moms, both experienced. While the app, which is based in Akron, has turned some heads, its success comes from how adept at the grind Amy and Audrey are. They showcased that in April when Komae was invited to participate in Project Entrepreneur’s Intensive in New York City, which included $10,000.
They credit their entrepreneur friends in Northeast Ohio and at Flight, Audrey will be giving back to help support the community that’s supported her.
“Thanks to the active entrepreneur community in the Cleveland/Akron area, we have received tremendous wisdom and support from people who have walked the road before us,” she told Project Entrepreneur before rocking the pitchfest and landing a spot in the five-week accelerator program at Rent the Runway’s offices in Manhattan.
The lessons Audrey has learned — and will share at Flight — are hard won, adapting and applying her background in PR, marketing, sales, management and customer service. Since successfully Kickstarting the project in October 2015, when they crowdsourced more than $20,000 from 159 backers, Team Komae has learned how to be an entrepreneur on the fly, figuring out their pitch in a pinch hours before landing a $10,000 check Female Entrepreneurship Summit in Cleveland. They’d also picked up a $500 prize from NextOhio and a $25,000 loan from the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund.
With their Kickstarter supporters getting beta access to Komae in September, Audrey and Amy — along with their husbands Gary, who runs Komae’s IT, and Andrew, who is Komae’s software director — are poised to bring fun and some welcomed financial relief to thousands of parents while making Akron proud in the process.