Founder and CEO of Skin in the Game
Nicole Loftus was raised by her Midwestern Italian family to believe that women should stay home and make babies. While waiting for her “family-approved” life to begin, Nicole started a career working for the Fashion Director at the Chicago Apparel Center, and later joined Levi Strauss & Co. At Levi’s, Loftus learned the value of a brand.
To hear the full Women to Watch™ Media interview with Nicole, listen below.
After her time at Levi’s, Loftus moved on to Corporate Express. While working with some of the world’s largest advertisers, Nicole had an idea on how to make her industry better. With no money or experience, she gave it a shot.
Nicole turned her idea into a profitable business called Zorch which disrupted a $20 billion industry. In a few short years Zorch became the 8th fastest growing company in the U.S. and the #1 woman-led company in the country (Inc. 500). Nicole won exclusive contracts with the biggest advertisers in the world. Corporations such as AT&T, Citigroup and State Farm have all been “Zorched,” and saved millions by sourcing branded goods through the Zorch Portal. Zorch is poised to become the industry leader with a model that forever changed the way people advertise with merchandise.
Loftus, 46, is a proud member of several local and national organizations. Nicole often credits the City of Chicago with her success. Inspired by Mayor Richard M. Daley, Nicole created several programs with Chicago Public Schools to assist students in finding their entrepreneurial spirit. Visit Zorch on any given day and you’ll see Nicole’s belief in the community at work—literally. Giving students from city programs a chance to gain real world experience, Nicole hired Chicago’s youth as paid interns.
Loftus was appointed by Mayor Daley to the board of the Chicago Workforce Investment Council (CWIC), which was focused on economic stimulus and job creation. Nicole has served as a mentor to small business owners through The Clinton Foundation and NFTE, (The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship).
Through her work mentoring entrepreneurs, Nicole saw a lack of capital that was stifling innovation. In 2013, Nicole stepped down as CEO of Zorch to focus full time on building a better model for funding innovations. After four years of research and vetting, Nicole has launched Skin in the Game, a TV investment platform that brings advertisers and consumers together to fuel entrepreneurs and their innovations.
Skin in the Game celebrates how we all need each other. From the job seeker to the consumer, the small business to the big corporation, we are all in business together, we all have Skin in the Game.
For more information regarding Nicole, check out the links below!