Michael Lastoria speaks on taking risks

About the speaker

Michael Lastoria is a serial entrepreneur. He builds companies on three core principles: design-driven, brand-led, and most importantly, morally sound. He never lets his business goals get in the way of his business principles - most notably, that business should be built to serve and reflect its community, not the other way around.

In 2012, he founded &pizza, a fast-casual pizza chain built to that end. Every shop is different, designed around and with the community it serves. In three years, he has raised $15 million for expansion and growth, opening 13 shops in the Washington, D.C. area with significant expansion on the horizon.

He is also a Founding Partner at JWALK, a New York based full service creative agency, leading the company in growth strategy and business development.

In 2002, he founded a leading marketing and media services company, Innovation Ads. As founder and CEO, Michael oversaw the five year growth of the company and successful sale to Seaport Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, in 2006.

Today, Michael is a well-recognized leader in the startup world and speaks regularly on the value of design thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship. Michael studied Economics and Business at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.

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