👋🏾 My name is Devan (day-vin) Sood.
I am a first-generation Indo-American. My father is a professor at UCLA Anderson and my mother is an entrepreneur who runs a promotional products company, both of them are from India. I grew up in LA and accidentally jumped into my first venture at age 14; Unlimited Ltd. Clothing, my first company, was launched in 9th grade. In less than three years, Unlimited Ltd. was sold in a dozen countries, involved in four global charities, and endorsed by celebrities.
After the success of my first company, I started to strengthen my digital marketing skills and opened a marketing consulting practice specializing in creative growth strategies to market to millennials and gen-z. I worked for a handful of companies before I graduated high school, one of them was a messaging platform called onLoop. A few weeks into the job I told the CEO it wasn't going to work, the data was not showing any real engagement. He already had this insight and told me he wanted to pivot using the live streaming technology they realized was the most popular feature. He had a terrible new name and an uncompelling idea, and I told them that, so they challenged me to come up with a better idea by the following Monday. I created a new name and a concept for a fresh take on live streaming, and they loved it.
I led onLoop's pivot to Zapstream, a social live streaming platform that launched the same year as Periscope. They hired me full time once I graduated high school as the Chief Marketing Officer where I was able to lead a marketing team responsible for almost 100k downloads. We were featured in Fox Business, Silicon Angle, AdWeek, LA Biz Journal, and more. After about a year and lots of learned lessons with the Zapstream team, we weren't able to continue and I went on to attend Babson College to cultivate an entrepreneurial network.
These days I help cool startups grow at 96-LA, I build my own products and advise others (portfolio), I lecture at different high schools on "Teentrepreneurship," and I am an active Board Member at Project ECHO.