October 31, 2017, Cambridge, MA—Pepperlane, a Cambridge, MA-based platform that empowers mothers turn their skills and passions into micro-businesses that allow them to work flexibly, announced that it has hired seasoned operational executive and growth expert Kate Keough as its Chief Operating Officer. She has worked as an advisor to the company since August 2017 and will begin her tenure as COO in January 2018.
Keough has worked with three companies that saw four-digit growth, most recently serving as COO of Somerville, MA-based Paint Nite, which claimed the No. 2 spot on the 2016 Inc 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies, with 36,000% growth. She is especially experienced in two-sided marketplace dynamics, and sees a huge opportunity for Pepperlane to gain additional momentum by creating positive network effects to encourage sellers to feed the ecosystem as buyers, mentors, and more.
“Enabling millions of mothers to monetize their unique skill sets around their own schedules, on their own terms, is a massive opportunity,” Keough said. “The options available in today’s workforce do not reflect the needs of families or the talent mothers bring to the table, and I’m excited to join a company dedicated to helping solve this problem and empowering the most important people in our lives: moms.”
Pepperlane launched its online platform in spring 2017 and has reached more than 100 communities in Massachusetts, empowering mothers to build businesses around more than 55 different types of skills. The platform helps mothers quickly launch their businesses and get in front of customers, with a simple, professional website that can be completed with no coding and a built-in community to encourage each other through online and offline events.
“The addition of Kate enables us to more aggressively chase our vision of reshaping the workplace for mothers and transforming local economies in the process,” said Pepperlane co-founder and CEO Sharon Kan. “Her incredible success in leading exponential growth in her previous roles will be a huge asset to our team as work to grow Pepperlane nationwide.”
Pepperlane empowers all mothers to turn their skills, passions, and ideas into small, flexible businesses that fit into their busy lives. The company is backed by Cambridge-based Accomplice and was co-founded by three startup veterans (and mothers): CEO Sharon Kan (co-founded the Women Innovating Now Lab at Babson and sold her last startup Tikatok to Barnes & Noble); VP of product Jess Petersen (early employee at Carbonite and VP product of Hopper); and Technology Advisor Margaret McKenna (led platforms at Runkeeper, worked with U.S. Digital Service.)