“The Industry's Best Faculty!”
Founder & CEO, M.Gemi
Ben Fischman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LAUNCH, a venture-backed organization dedicated to building companies that change the way people shop, think, and live. Introducing between one and three digitally immersive, powerfully branded consumer retail experiences each year, LAUNCH assembles best-in-class talent, technology, and partners to provide the resources required to successfully develop and scale each business.
Since March 2015, Fischman has served as CEO of the first business within the LAUNCH portfolio: M.Gemi, a direct-to-consumer luxury footwear brand that releases new, handcrafted shoes every week, made in Italy. Ben launched M.Gemi with Maria Gangemi and Cheryl Kaplan two years ago to redefine what it means to be a luxury brand. They are a direct response brand rethinking how product is designed, produced and delivered to the consumer. They leverage data science and predictive analytics and their uniquely competitive workshop network to deliver beautifully hand-crafted Italian shoes every week. That has added up to: 100%+growth year on year, repeat rates ~4x per year (industry average is 1x per year) and projections of $50MM in sales in the next 12 months.
Previously, Fischman was the founder and CEO of Rue La La, one of the earliest players in the digital private sale space, and SmartBargains.com, the off-price e-commerce marketplace. He led both properties to acquisition in 2009 by GSI Commerce, the omnichannel commerce and interactive marketing services provider.
A longtime entrepreneur, Fischman founded LIDS Corporation, the exclusive retailer of sports caps, in 1993, as a junior at Boston University. He eventually sold the company in 2001. Fischman was also the first entrepreneur-in-residence at General Catalyst Partners, a premier venture capital firm that invests in innovative, technology-based companies.