We’ve been big fans of Keegan Vance Forte since we meet her years ago, back when she was a VC and a huge advocate for fashion tech. Her smart insights, honest advice, and friendly style made her a stand-out in the world of VC, and her move to Ceros had us curious about what kind of amazing things she’ll be doing there. We caught up with Keegan:
Tell us about your new role.
I’m really excited to have recently joined Ceros.com as the Director of Marketing & Business Development. Ceros is a B2B platform that empowers marketers and designers to create and publish beautiful, interactive content experiences without the need for developers. My main focus here is on driving awareness and activation via partnerships with retailers and e-commerce companies, publishers, B2B content marketers, Fortune 1000 brands, and agencies. I’ll also be leading the company’s events strategy in an effort to build a strong community of marketers and designers within these verticals around the Ceros brand.
What is Ceros, and who uses it?
Designers and marketers within the above mentioned verticals use our web-based platform to create, publish, and analyze highly engaging and interactive content experiences that work across all of your devices. Brands power a variety of content using Ceros: shoppable lookbooks, e-magazines, e-books, infographics as well as branded content, B2B marketing micro-sites, product guides, landing pages, and even event collateral. Some brands that currently use Ceros include Uniqlo, Elizabeth Arden, Chloe & Isabel, Marc Ecko, Contently, Mashable, NewsCred, MINI, Redken, and the list goes on. Using existing design assets and without the need for any web development, Ceros puts the power (and time) back in the designer’s hands.
What was your path to get to here?
I’ve been really lucky in my career to have amazing mentors who are huge supporters of me and whose advice and guidance is invaluable. Long/short, I geek out big time about new and smart technology that is upgrading legacy marketing experiences within large brands. Having spent the last (almost) 4 years on the VC side of things focused mainly on the space where Ceros lives, I can say with confidence that the opportunity is massive.
Based in NYC, I helped form early-stage VC fund Bowery Capital as the General Manager and earlier was Chief of Staff at AOL Ventures. It was my AOLV role that acted as my gateway drug into the VC world and where my love for helping grow early-stage tech companies was seeded. It’s here where I learned the true meaning of “entrepreneur” and I became addicted. Focused on a wide range of operational tasks, business development and sales initiatives for our portfolio, as well as deal sourcing, screening, and due diligence; I was a woman of many hats of all shapes and sizes. My pre-VC career path was the foundation that kept me moving in the right direction toward this goal that I didn’t even know existed at the time. Between ABC Radio, IAC, a very brief side-stint at Songza, and helping build a boutique media consulting firm, I started building my network and creating opportunities for myself and the businesses where I worked.
What is the #1 thing that you wish brands knew about content creation?
How powerful the Ceros platform is when it comes to creating awesome content for your brand, duh!
What are you most excited about in fashion tech today?
I’m really excited that big brand retailers are leveraging innovative technologies to reinvent in-store shopping experiences for their customers. Brands like Rebecca Minkoff, Michael Kors, and JCrew (just to name a few) are at the forefront of this initiative; multiple in-store screens with constant rotating branded content, personal shopper platforms, shopping online inventory, smart dressing rooms, etc. There are a ton of fashion tech companies emerging in the space focusing on different verticals that will help evolve this in-store experience into something very powerful for brands.
How can we stay in touch with you?
Anyone can feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn then grab my Ceros email from there. I’m always happy to chat or brainstorm ways to work with smart people.
Anything else we should know?
We’re a friendly team, we don’t bite … Request a demo for your brand!
Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.