Loading Preparing Cameras

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
Company Spotlight in Tech
CTS Computers
videos (1)
Tyler Wallace
Steadfast Networks
videos (2)
Karl Zimmerman
Public Good Software, Inc.
videos (3)
Melissa Anderson
Novatio Solutions
videos (1)
Gokul Solai
Keono
videos (1)
Michael Medema
LED Gaming
videos (1)
Steven De Mar
Reltio
videos (1)
Manish Sood
Newark element14
videos (1)
Tamara Jurgenson
Raise The Bar Consulting
videos (1)
Aaron Levy
Tock and The Alinea Group
videos (1)
Nick Kokonas
TappedIn
videos (1)
Joseph Sheahan
The LISA App, LLC
videos (1)
Robert Richmond
NestEgg
videos (1)
Doblin
videos (2)
AIT Worldwide Logistics
videos (1)
Vaughn Moore
SURYA Electronics
videos (1)
Bruce Gianpetro
Middleground IT
videos (1)
Sagar Pandya
Insuresoft
videos (1)
Tony Villa
AVANT
videos (2)
Drew Lydecker
KOMET of America, Inc.
videos (1)
Jan Pflugfelder
Steadfast.net
videos (1)
James Webb
Accretive Health Inc.
videos (1)
Dr. Emad Rizk
SpringCM
videos (1)
Dan Dal Degan
CALIBR Merchant Solutions
videos (1)
Raymond Siffel
Cleverbridge
videos (1)
Craig Vodnik
Cloudbakers
videos (1)
Mitch Greenwald
Reverb
videos (1)
David Kalt
uBack
videos (1)
Kaitlin Reimann
Fresh Content Society
videos (1)
Scott Emalfarb
HigherGround Managed Services
videos (1)
Brian Brammeier
Burwood Group, Inc.
videos (1)
Jim Hart
Scientel Solutions
videos (1)
Nelson Santos
SmartSource Inc.
videos (1)
Joe Iovinelli
CarAdvise
videos (1)
Hireology
videos (2)
SwiftIQ
videos (1)
Jason Lobel
Savvo Digital Sommelier Solutions
videos (1)
Joseph Sheahan
Eved
videos (1)
Talia Mashiach
CityBase
videos (1)
Mike Duffy
Specifi LLC
videos (1)
Ed Marcheselli
CloudCraze
videos (1)
Ray Grady
Adage Technologies
videos (2)
Roy Chomko
Flexera
videos (1)
Jim Ryan
alligatortek
videos (2)
Sid Bala
Codal
videos (1)
Keval Baxi
Eat Purely
videos (2)
Jeremiah Green
Intelligent Medical Objects
videos (1)
Frank Naeymi-Rad
Soothe
videos (1)
Chris To