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Wayfair Invites Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Pitch Business Plans in Shark Tank-like Competition at Heart Home Conference


Judging Panel to Include Wayfair Co-Founder Steve Conine, Battery Ventures General Partner Neeraj Agrawal, Start-Up Institute CEO Diane Hessan and Innovation Journalist Scott Kirsner

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Wayfair (NYSE:W), one of the world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings and décor, today announced The Kitchen Cabinet – Can Your Business Concept Take the Heat?, a business competition for aspiring entrepreneurs in the home space. The Kitchen Cabinet competition will take place at Wayfair’s Heart Home conference on October 2 at the Boston Copley Marriott where entrepreneurs will share their business concepts and receive feedback and strategic advice from a panel of accomplished leaders in the innovation economy. The Kitchen Cabinet panel of advisors includes Wayfair Co-Founder Steve Conine, Battery Ventures General Partner Neeraj Agrawal, Start-Up Institute CEO Diane Hessan and innovation journalist Scott Kirsner.

Heart Home attendees are invited to submit their business concepts by September 15, 2015 for the chance to present their business plans to The Kitchen Cabinet advisors. Finalists will have five minutes to pitch their business concept followed by another ten minute session for questions from the panel of advisors as well as the audience. Judges will select a grand prize winner to be announced at the Heart Home conference party on Friday evening. One People’s Choice winner will also be selected via social media. The grand prize winner will receive a business consultation and a $2500 home office makeover from Wayfair. To enter The Kitchen Cabinet, entrepreneurs must register for Heart Home at

The Kitchen Cabinet: Can Your Business Concept Take the Heat?

Heart Home Conference
Boston Copley Marriott
Friday, October 2

3:45 p.m.5 p.m.

Advisors to include:

Neeraj Agrawal – General Partner, Battery Ventures

Neeraj joined Battery in 2000 and invests in internet and software companies across all stages. For the last five years, Neeraj has been recognized on the Forbes Midas List, which ranks the top 100 venture capitalists in the world. He was also recognized in 2014 as a “50 on Fire” winner by news organization BostInno. Prior to Battery, Neeraj worked as a product manager at Real Networks and an operating executive at SkyTV. Neeraj holds a BS in computer science from Cornell and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Follow Neeraj on Twitter @NeerajVC.

Steve Conine - Co-Chairman and Co-Founder, Wayfair

Steve co-founded Wayfair with Niraj Shah in 2002. He currently leads development of the architecting and software systems that give Wayfair a technological edge in the online retail business. Prior to that, Steve was a co-founder, board member and Chief Technology Officer of Simplify Mobile. Before starting Simplify Mobile, he served as Chief Operating Officer for the London office of iXL, a publicly traded global technology consulting firm. Steve also previously co-founded and served as a top executive of Spinners Incorporated, an IT services firm, which was sold to iXL in 1998. Steve holds a B.S. in engineering from Cornell University.

Diane Hessan – CEO of The Start-up Institute and Chairman of C Space

Diane is a successful entrepreneur, marketer and author. She is currently CEO of Startup Institute, which is dedicated to helping people transform their careers. She is also Chairman of C Space, where she was CEO for 13 years. C Space (formerly Communispace) is a next-generation market research company, which builds online communities to help marketers generate consumer insights.

Diane has spent her career as a business executive, and as co-author of the book Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage. She has received many honors, and was recently was inducted into the Babson Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs. Diane serves on the boards of Tufts University, Panera, CoachUp, the Boston Philharmonic, and Horizons for Homeless Children, and is Special Advisor to Datapoint Capital, a leading early-stage venture firm. She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University. Follow Diane on Twitter @DianeHessan.

Scott Kirsner - Editor of InnoLead, Boston Globe Columnist and BetaBoston Blogger

Scott is a journalist who writes about innovation and entrepreneurship. His “Innovation Economy” column appears Sundays in the Boston Globe, and he is also editor of the site Innovation Leader (, which focuses on R&D, product development, corporate venturing, and new initiatives within large companies. Scott has been a regular contributor to Fast Company, BusinessWeek, Variety, and Wired. His books include Fans, Friends, and Followers and Inventing the Movies, a technological history of Hollywood. He can be reached at and his Twitter handle is @ScottKirsner.

Heart Home attendees are invited to enter The Kitchen Cabinet by submitting business concepts here:

About Wayfair

Wayfair Inc. offers an extensive selection of home furnishings and décor across all styles and price points. The Wayfair family of brands includes:

  •, an online destination for all things home
  • Joss & Main, an online flash sales site offering inspiring home design daily
  • AllModern, a go-to online source for modern design
  • DwellStudio, a design house for fashion-forward modern furnishings
  • Birch Lane, a collection of classic furnishings and timeless home décor

Wayfair is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with additional locations in New York, Utah, Kentucky, Ireland, U.K. and Germany.

Source: Wayfair


Media Relations Contact:

Susan Frechette, 617-532-6100 x1124


Investor Relations Contact:

Kate Gulliver, 617-880-8108

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