Meet our founder

 
 
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Erika Velazquez Alpern

I have spent the past decade leading brand marketing and communications for media companies, tech startups, and lifestyle brands. I absolutely love what I do! Prior to launching Tactile, I was the VP of Marketing & Communications for The New Republic where I helped a 100 year magazine reach a larger more diverse audience through a rebrand, growth-led communications strategies, and a revenue marketing strategy that generated 40% of the sales pipeline. I helped the Guardian define their place in the US market post-Snowden. I helped NewsCred pivot from a 20 person media platform to a 250-person content marketing platform that raised over 40M in funding – leading their rebrand and generating pre-sales marketing that won the business multiple 6-7 figure deals. I worked with AOL to lead an artist program and manage their portfolio of media brands, including AOL.com, Huffpost, and the launch of MAKERS. In my media career, I have done creative strategy and content marketing for brands like Casper, SquareSpace, Ben & Jerry's, Hearst, Amex, WeWork, Pepsi, AB Inbev and more. Tactile has supported startups including Argent, Novella, Dripkit, Fabled, Par en Per, Cycles & Sex, The Collective (of Us), Modernist Financial, and more. Before my career in marketing and media, I worked in the arts, curated pop-up shows, and made lots of things. 

 
 

Our story

 

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I launched Tactile with a mission to change the ratio in business. A lofty goal? Yes. A Necessary one? Definitely.

Before I launched Tactile, I spent close to a decade in brand marketing and communications across media, tech, and the arts. I was the VP of Marketing & Communications for The New Republic, led brand marketing for the Guardian and NewsCred, and ran an artist program for AOL. 

A few years ago, as I grew in my career, I became determined to create safe spaces for other women in the workplace through intimate events – building power through community. The events were cathartic – a space to conceptualize solutions and feel solidarity. But the more conversations we had, the more I realized that the biggest impact I could make was by building a company that could change the ratio within the startup ecosystem and put more women in places of power. 

Leadership positions and boardrooms are dominated by cis white men (according to the New York Times, women and minorities occupy nearly 31 percent of the board seats of Fortune 500 companies – the highest in years) This means that women and people of color are missing from the table when key decisions are made. A lack of diversity in the decision making process impacts the products that get made, the workplace policies that are prioritized, and the campaigns that are launched (hello tone deaf Pepsi and Dove ad campaigns.) It also means that power dynamics in the workplace become a scary cesspool of sexual harassment.

If we prioritize diversity at the top and support more ventures led by women and people of color, if we see more women leading fundraising rounds, we will see a massive shift across the board. We will see workplace power dynamics shift, we will see new products that address the needs of people who are marginalized, and we will see less accounts of sexual harassment.

Tactile works with women-led companies on brand strategy, marketing, and PR. We have an early-stage program so that we can support women in the earliest stages of entrepreneurship with cost accessible resources. We also host weekly free webinar and office hours so that we can continue to support the growth of companies with women and people of color at the top. This is just the beginning, and we have big plans for how we can create more impact in the future. 

 
 

We're a collective of ambitious women building ambitious brands.

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