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
Netrix, LLC.
videos (1)
Rob Dang
SP+ (SP Plus)
videos (1)
Marc Baumann
SoloInsight Inc.
videos (1)
Farhan Masood
NowSecure
videos (1)
Andrew Hoog
Gogo
videos (1)
Ash EIDifrawi
Mattersight
videos (1)
Kelly Conway
MSDSonline
videos (1)
Glenn Trout
BCDVideo
videos (2)
Jeff Burgess
Allant Group
videos (1)
Gaurav Issar
EZLinks Golf
videos (1)
Gary Cohen
Aginity
videos (1)
Doug Grimsted
Highland Solutions
videos (1)
Jeff Nixon
Cision
videos (1)
Kevin Akeroyd
Reltio
videos (1)
Manish Sood
Channel IQ
videos (1)
Andy Walker
ANKO Technologies Corp
videos (1)
Anatoliy Kolodkin
Retrofit, Inc.
videos (1)
Mary Pigatti
MotherG
videos (2)
Infiniscene
videos (1)
Stu Grubbs
Intersog
videos (1)
Igor Fedulov
eComfort.com
videos (1)
Pavel Sokolovsky
First Communications
videos (1)
Margi Shaw
LaunchPad Lab
videos (1)
Tom Cullen
Reliefwatch
videos (1)
Daniel Yu
Techweek
videos (2)
Amanda Signorelli
CBIZ, Inc.
Jerome Grisko
Kamea Networks & Technology
videos (1)
Chach DalSanto
SMS Assist
videos (1)
Michael Rothman
#FoodieChats
videos (1)
Steve Green
Integrated Project Management
videos (1)
Mike McLeod
BMW Technology Corporation
videos (1)
Randy Cavaiani
Cleverbridge
videos (1)
Craig Vodnik
Impact Engine
videos (1)
Jessica Droste Yagan
Rubicon Technology
videos (1)
Bill Weissman
Earlybird Software
videos (1)
Andrew Parnell
4C Insights
videos (1)
Alok Choudhary
HERE
videos (1)
AAron Dannenbring
RedShelf
videos (1)
Greg Fenton
Aprimo
videos (1)
John Stammen
Esquify
videos (1)
Drew Stern
Insuresoft
videos (1)
Tony Villa
Market Track
videos (1)
Kristopher Kubicki
Steadfast Networks
videos (1)
Karl Zimmerman
Chicago Inno
videos (1)
Will Flanagan
ObjectWave
videos (1)
Sam Cinquegrani
Iyka
videos (1)
Poonam Gupta
Technori
videos (1)
Scott Kitun
Illinois Technology Association (ITA)
videos (1)
Fred Hoch