|Education||Yale University, Harvard Business School|
|Occupation||Co-Founder/Head of Business Development, Rent the Runway|
Jennifer Fleiss is the Co-Founder and Head of Business Development at Rent the Runway, a business that has transformed the retail industry by making designer dress and accessory rentals a convenient and accessible luxury experience for millions of women. As of March 2014, Fleiss and co-founder Jennifer Hyman have raised approximately $54 million in venture capital funding for Rent the Runway, and have grown the company to over 4 million members and over 250 employees.
Personal life and education
Fleiss grew up in Manhattan, New York. She graduated cum laude from Yale University with a BA in 2005 and later attended Harvard Business School, where she met co-founder of Rent the Runway Jennifer Hyman, and graduated with an MBA in 2009.
Fleiss has taken on a variety of roles at Rent the Runway since the company’s launch in 2009, and she now oversees Business Development. As the Head of Business Development, Fleiss manages business growth and long-term strategy planning, including key partnerships and sponsorship sales. She also assists with company-wide infrastructure, project planning, and key logistics decisions.
Fleiss has led numerous initiatives at Rent the Runway, including the creation of the proprietary technology and first-in-class logistical processes that drive the company’s operational systems. She’s credited with vertically integrating the Rent the Runway operation in the company’s 40,000 square foot distribution center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Most recently, Fleiss has led key retail growth opportunities including influential partnerships with Henri Bendel and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Fleiss regularly presents on topics such as the sharing economy, female leadership, entrepreneurship, and industry trends in retail, social media, and marketing.
Fleiss started her career crafting long-term company strategy in the Strategic Planning Group at Morgan Stanley. She then moved on to Lehman Brothers’ Asset Management Group where she was responsible for analyzing business growth opportunities through acquisitions, international expansion and new product strategies. A natural entrepreneur, Jenny founded an essay-editing and coaching service for college applicants, and built the company into an online tutoring service.
Awards and Honors
Jenny has received various honors and recognitions including Fortune’s “40 Under 40” and “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs”; Forbes’s “Disruptors 2013”; Inc.’s “30 Under 30”; Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”; Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” New York Area Regional finalist; and Fashionista.com’s “Most Influential People in New York Fashion.”
- Moore, Booth, "Rent the Runway heads to Vegas' Cosmopolitan in time for New Year's", "Los Angeles Times", December 17, 2013
- Rao, Lena, "AmEx Backs The Netflix For Designer Clothes, Rent The Runway", "TechCrunch", March 11, 2013
- "Jennifer Fleiss CrunchBase Profile", "CrunchBase"
- Keating, Caitlin, "40 Under 40", "Fortune", October 17, 2012
- Sellers, Patricia, "Fortune's most promising women entrepreneurs", "Fortune", September 13, 2011
- Carlyle, Erin, "Disruptors", "Forbes"
- Evans, Suzy "The Most Influential Women in Technology 2011 - Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss", "Fast Company", January 10, 2011
- "2013 finalists announced", "Ernst and Young"
- Sherman, Lauren, "Fashionista 50: The Most Influential People in New York Fashion", "Fashionista", February 8, 2011