Startup Institute Student Spotlight – Katie Hurley

April 18, 2016
Oliver Stahl

spring SI challenge logo

We like to work with the Startup Institute here in Chicago when we can. This spring we gave the Spring ’16 class Tribe Pro accounts, worked with the Sales & Marketing students on a hack, and hosted a friendly contest. Of course, we wanted the competition to be fun but related to tribe.

The reward? The most active tribe user from the Spring ’16 class gets a featured spotlight on our blog, promoted on our social media, and have them work with us directly on a project that will directly impact our business.

We are proud to announce that this classes’ winner was Katie Hurley!

katie hurley

So, let’s talk about Katie and how she came to be featured here. Katie won this competition by being the most active person on tribe over the time that the Startup Institute have had access to Tribe. This was calculated by how many tasks she created, edited, checked on, completed, and how often her app was up on her devices, totaled and tracked in one comprehensive number. Trust me, she was busy!

However, this post is about Katie, so let’s dive in!

Katie is a talented filmmaker, writer, and producer with newly added marketing skills. Prior to coming to the Startup Institute, she was an award winning filmmaker and published writer. She developed a film and marketing business that worked with non-profit organizations, individuals, and companies to establish themselves through visual branding and vibrant storytelling. As sole director and producer, she signed a number of clients, communicated branding goals, budgeted each unique project, and produced all creative content.

With strong experience in creating and editing media, she looked to what she believed was next; combining these skills with a marketing background to help brands tell their stories in-house. While at the Startup Institute, she developed new marketing skills like email marketing and landing page optimization, best practices for inbound and outbound marketing plans, working with analytics platforms and SQL, placing, testing, and optimizing paid advertising, and improving website visibility through content development and targeted keyword usage.

With these new marketing skills, she’s ready to be on the frontlines of exciting new projects. She’s interested in anything regarding civic tech, empowering women, and producing creative content.

The National Summit on School Design from Katie Hurley on Vimeo.

(Link to Katie’s Professional Website)

I even interviewed Katie!

Q: What do you see happening in the future of marketing?
A: A brand’s success will be dictated by its honesty and accessibility. Consumers want to connect with a message that is genuine and trustworthy. This may not be a new concept in the marketing world, but effectively engaging with customers is now more important than ever. The anti-establishment culture that has popped up in our politics reflects that overwhelming desire for transparency.

Q: Where do you see your skills being helpful in your career?
A: I can convey a feeling, belief, or sentiment across a wide variety of mediums. Sometimes different messages require different storytelling channels. Having a background in creative writing, music, and filmmaking has been enormously helpful in shaping campaigns that people connect with. Being well understood is the most powerful asset a person or organization can have.

Q: What are your skills right now and where do you want to improve?
A: I’m great at building big projects from scratch. I’ve written, directed, shot, and edited each of my films. I love pulling pieces of each department together to watch a project evolve and become whole. In this way, I love critical thinking and big-picture stuff. But now, I can definitely see the value in sharpening my analytical skills. Marketing has taught me that data has to be the heartbeat behind all creative content. It doesn’t matter how pretty a campaign is– if it’s not directly responding to the testing done on your audience, then you’re wasting time and money.

Q: If you could meet someone famous from the Chicago tech scene who would it be and why?
A: Desiree Vargas Wrigley. She builds companies that empower people, she’s a member of the Conscious Capitalism movement, and I think she’d be a terrific mentor.

We’re very excited to work with Katie on our project and we’re also sure that she is going to join a fantastic startup here in Chicago. Using her skills, she’ll be able to make an immediate impact by helping her team move forward with video, marketing, and communication. We’re proud to be in a position to be able to work with her. Congratulations to Katie for winning our contest, and we wish her luck as she moves forward.

You can learn more about Katie, and the Sales & Marketing Hack here:
Katie Hurley’s LinkedIn Profile
Tribe + Startup Institute Sales & Marketing Hack


Interested in Tribe’s Journey through Techstars? Read the Startup Series now!

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