For 17 years, Lauren Maillian has been defying the odds as an innovative entrepreneur. She co-founded her first business, Sugarleaf Vineyards when she was just 19 years old. That made her the youngest self-made winery owner in the U.S. before she was even allowed to drink. As COO, Maillian led the company to international recognition and awards and an acquisition in 2011.
Sugarleaf is just one brick in the empire that Maillian has built for herself. She runs a marketing and brand advisory company, LMB Group, that supports notable brands like J.P. Morgan Chase, AT&T, Walmart, Estée Lauder, and BuzzFeed. For nearly two decades, she has established herself as a changemaker paving a path to success for other women of colour.
Maillian is also a founding partner and managing director of Gen Y Capital Partners, making her the first Black woman to start an early-stage venture capital fund. Maillian’s work with Gen Y was also ground-breaking because they were one of the first funds to support their companies beyond capital. Outside of her investments with Gen Y, Maillian has a personal investment portfolio that represents more than $1B in revenue and includes several unicorn companies.
Behind Maillian’s impressive resume and tireless work ethic is a commitment to advancing people of color as leaders in innovation in corporate America. While people of colour continue to be disproportionately impacted by financial and healthcare crises, Maillian is working to shift their chances of success.