Lauren Foundos has earned two-time All-American honors in field hockey and All-State in softball, played field hockey in the Junior Olympics and went on to play Division I for the University of Maryland. In 2006, Lauren received her BA degree in communications with a minor in business, which she parlayed into a decade-long career on Wall Street before, in 2015, she opened FORTË, a revolutionary fitness platform that live-streams boutique studio classes from around the world. It’s clear to see how this lifelong athlete has channeled the strength and discipline needed to excel in sports to successful careers in two of the most competitive industries in North America: finance, and fitness.
My first job ever was… A lifeguard at Engineers Country Club in Roslyn, NY.
I decided to become an entrepreneur because… My vision became extremely clear as an avid user of boutique fitness studios. I personally wanted a product like mine to exist, while at the same time the studios were trying to expand their footprint. So building my company, FORTË, became the clear and only path I could see.
My proudest accomplishment is… Buying my first home, a loft in Manhattan, before I was 30.
My boldest move to date was… Leaving behind a lucrative career on Wall Street to start a technology company with no tech or startup experience, but sheer determination and a lifelong passion for fitness.
I surprise people when I tell them… I can play the piano and violin.
My best advice to people starting out in business is… Just get started, and surround yourself with like-minded and supportive individuals.
My best advice from a mentor was… Control your burn rate — out of control spending kills companies.
My biggest setback was… I don’t consider anything in life to be a failure or a setback. If an opportunity does not work out as I had planned, it has always led me to another opportunity, and often an even better one. It’s that positive mindset that I attribute to my success.
I overcame it by… Recalibrating, which for me means working out, and then sitting back down and not feeling badly for myself but rather understanding that when one door closes, another opens. It’s important to reshape the way you view situations that may not go as you intended, always maintain positive self-talk, a confident mindset, and openness to opportunities because that brings along more great ones.
Work/life balance is… Not my strong suit at the moment. Founding a company is not as glamorous as it may appear to be at times, because it entails a lot of long sleepless nights and many missed celebrations with family and friends. I’ll let my competition master the art of the work/life balance.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I only set my alarm clock on odd numbers that end with 1, 3, 7, and 9.
I stay inspired by… My father’s accomplishments and wisdom, my mother’s endless positivity, the support of my two older brothers, and by the exceptional people I work with daily. And now I am proud to say that I am inspired day in and day out by our users. The kind words and emails from people using our product make this journey one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. I am extremely grateful for all of these people.
The future excites me because… The possibilities are endless. As technology continues to advance, the experience that we bring to our users will rapidly evolve in an exceptional manner (through virtual reality and more). Thus, becoming a much more immersive experience and fostering the growth our global community of FORTË athletes.
My next step is… Ensuring ‘FORTË’ becomes a household name, and this world we live in becomes a much fitter, healthier, stronger and ultimately happier place.