Katlin Smith

About

Katlin Smith is the founder and CEO of Simple Mills, a brand at the forefront of the clean-ingredient, natural food movement. Katlin has a knack for simplifying the complex, whether it is ingredient labels or the various issues entrepreneurs face. She began her career as a Deloitte management consultant and launched Simple Mills in 2012. Today, the brand is the fastest-growing in its category, recipient of multiple awards, and among the most visible of a new wave of companies ridding packaged foods of nutrient-void, artificial ingredients.   A few years ago, Katlin Smith arrived at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business with a solid product and modest goals. She had developed a tasty gluten-free muffin mix without preservatives and additives. She thought her company, Simple Mills, could be a player in the natural foods market. But when clinical professor of entrepreneurship Waverly Deutsch tasted—and loved—Smith's muffins, she counseled her to think big. "Be the Betty Crocker for the 21st century!" Deutsch says she told her. "I coach women to think bigger. And Katlin responded to that."   Last year, Smith won Booth's New Venture Challenge, which netted her and her teammates $30,000. Soon, Simple Mills mixes, made with almond flour and natural flavors such as coconut nectar, were among the top-selling muffin mixes, gluten-free or otherwise, on Amazon.com.   Chicago-based Simple Mills now has six full-time employees and a cash infusion (Smith won't say how much) led by Charlotte, N.C.-based Charlotte Capital Partners. It just launched three new mixes: pancake and waffle, vanilla cake and pizza crust. Though she won't disclose revenue or say whether the company is profitable, three-year-old Simple Mills outsells all other natural baking mixes nationwide, says Schaumburg-based Spins, which provides retail consumer insights and analytics. Her store count has expanded ninefold to about 450 in the past six months—mostly Whole Foods in the South and Natural Grocers in the West and Southwest—and online sales continue to grow.   The MBA is on hold. "I never said I wanted to be an entrepreneur," says Smith, who created her product after discovering a gluten sensitivity and despairing of products with "ingredients I couldn't pronounce. But my father and uncle started businesses, so I guess there's a little bit of genetics there."
Videos (1)
Surround Yourself With An Amazing Team
Surround Yourself With An Amazing Team
Company Spotlight in Tech
Stratosphere Networks
videos (1)
Steve Melchiorre
CBIZ, Inc.
Jerome Grisko
ExteNet Systems, Inc.
videos (1)
Ross Manire
CodeNow
videos (1)
Neal Sales-Griffin
Alive Telecom
videos (2)
Daniel Barton
TechNexus
videos (1)
Terry Howerton
MSDSonline
videos (1)
Glenn Trout
Scientel Solutions
videos (1)
Nelson Santos
ITPeopleNetwork
videos (1)
Amit Dutta
SP+ (SP Plus)
videos (1)
Marc Baumann
eComfort.com
videos (1)
Pavel Sokolovsky
XSELL Technologies
videos (1)
Matt Coughlin
Solving IT
videos (1)
Paul Taylor
EZLinks Golf
videos (1)
Gary Cohen
MotherG
videos (2)
Trading Technologies
videos (1)
Rick Lane
Illinois Technology Association (ITA)
videos (1)
Fred Hoch
Codal
videos (1)
Keval Baxi
Infiniscene
videos (1)
Stu Grubbs
4C Insights
videos (1)
Alok Choudhary
Analyte Health
videos (1)
Frank Cockerill, M.D.
HighGround
videos (1)
Vip Sandhir
Aginity
videos (1)
Doug Grimsted
DragonSpears
videos (1)
Patrick Emmons
Geofeedia
videos (1)
Phil Harris
Channel IQ
videos (1)
Andy Walker
AMPY
videos (1)
Tejas Shastry
Mattersight
videos (1)
Kelly Conway
Framework Communications
videos (1)
John Fakhoury
BuildOut Inc
videos (1)
Vishu Ramanathan
SkillNet
videos (1)
Mike Kritzman
Technori
videos (1)
Scott Kitun
Ensono
videos (1)
Jeff VonDeylen
Devbridge Group
videos (1)
Aurimas Adomavicius
Techstars Chicago
videos (1)
Troy Henikoff
Label Insight
videos (1)
Paul Schaut
Adage Technologies
videos (1)
Roy Chomko
Antenna International
videos (1)
Dave Falter
SimpleRelevance, Inc.
videos (2)
Erik Severinghaus
Cision
videos (1)
Kevin Akeroyd
TurboAppeal Inc
videos (1)
JOHN GUIDOS
CloudCraze
videos (1)
Ray Grady
10th Magnitude
videos (1)
Alex Brown
Netrix, LLC.
videos (1)
Rob Dang
First Communications
videos (1)
Margi Shaw
Solstice Mobile
videos (1)
J Schwan
Chicago Inno
videos (1)
Will Flanagan
Market Track
videos (1)
Kristopher Kubicki