How Tapping into Her Right Brain Inspired ClassPass Founder, Payal Kadakia
April 5, 2016
By Tammy Sachs, CEO
Two of our ever curious, digitally and socially active researchers, recently wrote a blog post about ClassPass, the phenomenon of a gig app that has inspired many to try exercises they’d never imagined. I was fascinated by the blog as I’m a Pilates fanatic and notice the daily influx of new classmates to my little studio. Where did they all come from? How did they discover my amazing quirky studio? The teachers all told me: ClassPass. It has filled the studio and converted many to Pilates, barre, spin and more.
When I dug a little deeper, I found out ClassPass was founded by Payal Kadakia, an MIT grad who has been dancing since age 3. She now leads a national troupe, The Sa Dance Company, in addition to ClassPass. Kadakia started the company after her challenging attempt to find a ballet class to attend one evening after work. In this Fortune article Payal says, “It was the most miserably frustrating thing. A class is an hour and it took me an hour to find it.”
What inspired me most was the connection Payal made to dancing: “When I dance,” she says, “I go to a different side
of who I am. I feel like I can solve a problem without knowing I’m solving one.” Having closed $70M dollars of VC funding in 2015, I can only imagine that while dancing, Payal comes up with some incredibly creative business solutions.
It is equally inspiring (as a female entrepreneur and Board member of MIT Enterprise Forum) to see a female founder get the attention of VCs. It’s about time! This is another really great example of a win-win for both the customer and the service provider in a gig economy. Customers get to try activities they’d never commit to otherwise and service providers get customers that would be unlikely to enter their doors.