HEAD OF INNOVATIVE VENTURES AT HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY; FOUNDER OF THE 9TH WARD FIELD OF DREAMS
Brian Bordainick may have started down a traditional path, but his journey has been anything, but conventional. When Brian arrived in New Orleans in 2007 to begin his job with Teach for America, he was expecting to join the faculty at a local high school and simply make a difference through teaching in an under-performing community. With facilities that never fully recovered from Hurricane Katrina and a student population within a region that was combating alarmingly high crime rates, Brian took the initiative and founded the 9th Ward Field of Dreams in order to support the construction of a state-of-the-art football field and track on Carver High School's campus in an effort to provide after-school activities for the students. In only two years, the organization raised almost $2 million in funding for the facility and broke ground in the fall of 2012.
After teaching, Brian was recruited as director of entrepreneurial investment for 4.0 Schools, an incubator for tech-focused innovation in education. Brian was tasked with identifying talented entrepreneurs whose ideas would create the future of education. Among other achievements, he was listed as one of the 2013 "30 Under 30: Education" list for Forbes for his efforts at the organization.
His focus shifted in 2014 to Dinner Lab, a membership-based social dining experiment that united undiscovered chefs with adventurous diners in unique spaces. Lauded by foodies and investors alike, Brian and Dinner Lab were featured in The New Yorker, Forbes, Business Insider, The New York Times, Entrepreneur, and more. Dinner Lab’s innovative idea of bringing feedback in an open forum to the restaurant industry had never been previously attempted. Dinner Lab chefs were able to use the member feedback and data to drive new ideas and iterations of their menu and open restaurants featuring what had been tested.
Although Dinner Lab has since closed, Brian has taken much of his experiences as co-founder and CEO of the business to teach others about the trials and tribulations of building startups from the ground up. Brian recently joined Hudson Bay's Company as the Head of Innovative Ventures and is working on updating the antiquated brick and mortar retail world. His work involves tapping into emerging brands to give rise to their fledgling concepts and working with HBC to launch an independent concept that will flip the way retail is done globally. Stores currently operate as monotone racks of clothes, and Brian brings his deep knowledge of the experience economy to flip the ratio and drive retail into the future.
Brian has appeared on Anderson Cooper 360, ESPN, the Today Show, CBS News, and has spoken at TEDxGoldenGateED and various universities, corporations and associations throughout the country.
THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY: BUILDING COMMUNITY
Shopping is no longer transactional. It's about an experience. Bridging a gap between community and business should be inherent in order to lead any organization into developing and maintaining customer relationships. Corporate social responsibility initiatives have quickly become the new benefits package, driving not only internal stakeholders to join forces, but also external stakeholders to take note of what brands are doing to make a difference. Brian discusses how he has been tasked with taking what he's learned through his startup experiences and now translates those triumphs and failures into building a community within the Hudson Bay Company's portfolio of retailers. Brian leads you through the actionable steps he's taking to create an experience like no other.
THE START-UP SECRET SAUCE
When you've run a company such as Dinner Lab raising over $11.5 million, growing upwards of 100 employees and valued at over $33 million, you might know a thing or two about building a business from the ground up. In this personal talk, Brian opens up about his story as a millennial entrepreneur—going behind the scenes of Dinner Lab and other projects to discuss how one brings an idea from concept to reality, finds investors, expands a business, deals with the emotional toll of leading a company, and how to rebound from failure. Brian may have experienced defeat from the closing of Dinner Lab, but he is able to offer much advice and thoughtful suggestions on iterating ideas and how anyone can turn an entrepreneurial dream into reality.
EDUCATION EXPOSED: INNOVATING TEACHING PROCESSES AND EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY
In a time when innovation and entrepreneurship are sexy and education is anything but, Brian Bordainick challenges audiences to change their views on how incentivization fits within the evolution of education. Everything looks vastly different than it did 100 years ago—airplanes can take us around the world, groundbreaking medical devices are saving lives, and biodegradable packaging will better the environment. Yet if you put someone from the early 20th century in a classroom today, everything is the same. In this engaging talk, Brian exposes the underbelly of entrepreneurship and applies the same principles and an incentivized, risk-taking attitude towards education. By embracing innovation and technology, Brian summons educators to be daring and raw and break everything in their paths on the road to worthwhile education.