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Jennifer (Jenny) Fleiss is an entrepreneur at heart. She started her career at Morgan Stanley in the strategic planning group, where she crafted long-term company strategy. She then moved on to Lehman Brothers’ asset management group, where she was responsible for analyzing business growth opportunities through acquisitions, international expansion and new product strategies. A natural leader, Fleiss founded an essay editing and coaching service for college applicants, and built the idea into an online tutoring company.
In 2007, Fleiss began Harvard Business School, where she met friend and fellow co-founder, Jennifer (Jenn) Hyman. As section mates, the two women met frequently to discuss entrepreneurial ideas, one of which was Rent the Runway. Designed to solve the common “closet full of clothes but nothing to wear” problem, Fleiss and Hyman launched Rent the Runway in November 2009.
Now nearly two years into the business, Rent the Runway has quickly grown to acquire over 1 million members and has signed on 150 top designer brands. With an inventory of 25,000 dresses, 4,000 accessories, including new categories such as weddings and beauty, Rent the Runway has become the one-stop shop for life’s special occasions.
Fleiss received her B.A. from Yale University in 2005, graduating cum laude, and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 2009. Fleiss is a member of the New York Economic and Development Corporation, where she helps with corporate mentorship and advisory within the startup community. She is also a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Award in the New York region.
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