SOURCE: CincyTech

CincyTech

CincyTech

December 02, 2011 08:30 ET

CincyTech, QCA, TechCoast Angels Fund Define My Style

$690,000 Investment Will Further Develop Girls' Design/Empowerment Site

CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - Dec 2, 2011) - Define My Style, an online style community offering teens the opportunity to design, share, advertise and purchase physical and virtual custom products, has closed a $690,000 seed-stage funding round.

CincyTech led the round with a $250,000 investment. The Queen City Angels invested $100,000, Tech Coast Angels in Los Angeles invested $140,000, and the rest came from individual investors.

The funding will be used to expand virtual offerings; to design, create and implement a new Web platform; and to grow membership from 40,000 to 100,000 users.

"Define My Style is a healthy rebellion against mainstream sameness for young ladies," says founder and CEO Kristine Sturgeon. "Girls should be curious, confident and have a strong voice. We're building a platform offering tools and connections to participate in design, collaborate, produce and sell -- everything I want for my own daughters and for our next generation."

The idea for DMS came to Sturgeon in the fall of 2007, when her oldest daughter was getting ready to head back to school. Unable to decide on a school bag that gave her the functions she needed and a design she loved, Sturgeon's daughter was at a standstill. She knew exactly what she wanted out of a product -- as most consumers do -- but couldn't find it in stores. Sturgeon saw a business opportunity.

With a sketchbook and a PowerPoint, Sturgeon created the first DMS beta. Then she tested it to positive results with 23 achievement-oriented, involved young girls.

Sturgeon spent nights and weekends developing the Web application, investing more than $320,000 of her own money while continuing to work full time in the software industry. The business is a blend of social, networks, gaming and production creating a dynamic experience that blurs the line of play and reality.

"Kristine is dedicated to creating meaningful experiences by transforming the role of the consumer," says Mike Venerable, managing director of Digital/Software/Health Tech for CincyTech and a Define My Style board member. "Define My Style is a progressive example of consumer-driven product creation."

About Define My Style
Define My Style (www.DefineMyStyle.com) is an online, style-centric community to empower creative and curious high school and college girls, ages 15-24. Access to this audience is highly desirable to B2C companies; creating B2C2B opportunities. Members access a Web-based platform with tools and connections to launch a virtual store, design, promote, "manufacture" and sell custom products under a personal brand.

Define My Style is transforming the role of the consumer, allowing its members to participate at any and all stages of bringing an idea to life -- we are asking them to "Become a Part of Fashion." Through its platform, consumers build and customize products to best suit individual preferences, engage with peers and crowd source feedback pre-purchase. Its tools allow the girls to create and collaborate, which builds strong skills and confidence in an individual perspective.

About CincyTech
CincyTech is a public-private venture development organization that invests in startup businesses in high-tech industries in Southwest Ohio. With substantial support from Ohio Third Frontier and corporations, foundations, civic organizations and individuals here, it is stimulating the growth of venture-worthy companies in information technology, bioscience and advanced manufacturing.

Contact Information

  • CONTACTS:
    Kristine Sturgeon
    CEO & Founder
    Define My Style
    mobile: 513.403.4345
    Email Contact

    Carolyn Pione Micheli
    Communications Director
    CincyTech
    513-313-5910
    Email Contact