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Soraya  Darabi

Soraya Darabi

Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor & Trendspotter


Celebrated by Fast Company as one of the “most creative people in business,” Soraya Darabi is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with a recognized eye for spotting rising stars, breakout business models and tomorrow’s hottest trends in digital consumerism and consumer behavior. She is the co-founder of two highly successful venture-backed businesses, Zady and Foodspotting. She went on to found Trail Mix Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in design-driven companies that are shaping the future of work, health, wellness and living well. An authoritative speaker with a contagious entrepreneurial spirit, Darabi brings a head-spinning knowledge of the companies, products, services and technologies that you may not know about today, but will probably wish you had invested in five years from now. Read More >

Darabi first came into the spotlight as the 23-year-old digital wunderkind at the New York Times. Pioneering the role of Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media, her maverick strategies are credited with propelling the “Gray Lady” into the digital world. Soon after, she co-founded Foodspotting, an app that was acquired by Open Table and later, Priceline. Darabi’s next slam dunk was Zady, which was named one of Fast Companys top 10 most innovative retail companies alongside Warby Parker and Amazon. Called the “Whole Foods of fashion” Zady is a lifestyle destination offering a curated collection of high quality, sustainable fashions for conscious consumers. In 2015, Darabi leveraged her talent for trend spotting by founding VC Trail Mix Ventures. Trail Mix boasts a team of battle-tested entrepreneurs with proven records of spotting and amplifying inventive young companies that are transforming the way that we live and work. Their board of advisors includes Care.com’s CEO and founder, Sheila Marcelo; Wharton professor and bestselling author, Adam Grant; co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal; and Helene Hahn Lloyd, a founding team member and COO of DreamWorks.

Sharing behind-the-scenes background on her founder experiences and investing through the lens of emerging trends in consumer behavior, Darabi is a dynamic speaker who is fast on her feet with Q&A and brimming with fascinating content.  Her presentations provide both a consumer- business- and investor-eye view of the future of wellness, healthcare, work, and more. Whether you’re looking to spot the rising stars in digital consumerism or to stay ahead of customers, patients,  employees or trends, Darabi provides essential insights to prepare you for what’s next. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

How to Craft a Modern Digital Strategy

Soraya speaks to INSEAD Business School

Soraya on Mobile Innovation

The Social Media Sphere

Winning the Apple App

Social Media Surrounding Tsunami

SAS Institute

Speech Topics

Secrets of a Serial Entrepreneur

From working in digital media at 17 to founding five separate companies before the age of 26, Soraya Darabi’s career has epitomized what it means to be a serial entrepreneur and proven trends spotter. Reaching national attention as one of Fast Company’s “40 under 40”, her track record includes founding Foodspotting, Zady, and VC firm Trail Mix Ventures. Now a Venture Investor, Darabi sees more than 1,000 pitch decks a year and is backing 40 emerging companies that are radically disrupting their industries. In this game-changing 60-minute presentation tailored to your industry, Darabi reveals the emerging trends that could disrupt or enhance the way you do business, now and in the future. She also shows how to use entrepreneurial approaches to overcome obstacles, leverage new technologies, re-boot your thinking and look for what’s next (before anyone else even sees it.)

Beyond Bosses: The Future of Work

Today’s workforce is unlike anything that ever preceded it. It is composed of digital natives who expect very different things out of their careers than their parents did. As a trailblazing technologist, trends analyst and venture capital investor in the future of work, Soraya Darabi knows what the new workplace will look like and how the labor force’s next generation views their careers. She also knows what will make both bosses, employees and organizations successful. In this insightful presentation, Darabi takes you into the future of work, examining nomadic workers and other new types of employees that are changing the workplace for the better. She also looks at the importance of business optimism and how labor will continue to transform as the 21st century marches on. This dynamic exploration into the next era of work, workers and workplaces will help you envision what’s next—and truly understand what it will take to thrive and succeed.

How Even the Oldest Companies Can Stay “Young”

Which traits empower one firm to thrive for more than a century while another will wither on the vine after 10 years? Simply put, successful companies stay young—and Soraya Darabi knows their age-defying secrets. Her career has gone full circle from innovating at legacy companies like The New York Times to starting up young firms of her own design to advising the titans. Leveraging this unique perspective, she examines how firms adapt, change, and, ultimately, stay youthful--or don’t. Darabi walks audiences through lessons learned in both young and old companies, blending in cutting edge analysis from her newest role as a venture capital investor in the future of work, design, and wellness. Providing essential information for new and aspiring entrepreneurs, product teams working on the next big idea, CEOs with an eye to the future, and employees looking to get ahead, Darabi tells you how to stay ahead of the curve in a competitive market.

The Future of Wellness

What does it mean to be well in today’s 24/7 world? How does a working mother, a student with a part-time job, an ambitious CEO, or an average worker truly commit to their well-being without compromising their busy work life? Soraya Darabi contends that for too long, we’ve misunderstood the relationship between wellness and success, believing that in order to be successful, we have to sacrifice health (and vice versa). As an analyst and investor in cutting edge wellness companies, Darabi looks at the future of wellness and shares the latest trends, services, products and practices that make balancing health and success more achievable. She also shares how working men and women can unlock the secret to wellness and, in the process, become more successful in both their professional lives and as advocates, citizens, parents, and partners. Darabi will also reveal the hidden truth behind understanding wellness: that there is money to be made in a well-lived life.