An Afternoon with Avelist Founder, Jody Porowski

The Women in Entrepreneurship group was fortunate enough to hear from Jody Porowski, a young woman entrepreneur and UNC graduate, on Friday, February 13. Porowski is the co-founder and CEO of Avelist. Avelist is a database for lists, ranging in topic from locations and caterers for a wedding to how to plan a trip and everything in between. Porowski’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to create this company when she saw that it would be a solution to people wasting huge amounts of time doing the same work and research that others before them had already done. She saw an opportunity to solve a problem and created the solution.

Porowski took her time researching and planning Avelist while she continued to work full-time at SAS in Cary, NC. After a couple of years, she launched Avelist, headquartered in Durham, NC. She spent most of her time seeking funding for expansion and sold her sole investment, her house, when the money ran out. She has recently added another office in NYC and moved there in January of this year. The focus for 2015 is expansion and Avelist should start turning a profit.

Avelist is on track to have a two-sided product. One product will be a free list service for consumers. The other will be a paid service used for internal business communications.

The meeting allowed for a casual, conversational environment that made it seem like Porowski was just another friend with a lot of great life experience and advice. It was very beneficial to be able to ask her any questions that would not be typically asked or answered in a formal interview or discussion. While she shared with us the different steps she took to launch her venture, it was most interesting to be able to stop her and ask, “Why? Why was that the next step? Why was that the best choice?” She spoke freely and honestly about her struggles and successes of being a young, woman entrepreneur in today’s competitive world. She left us with many words of wisdom, including the important notion to always have a back-up plan but most importantly, to always believe in yourself.  

Written by: Charlotte Hill, UNC E Minor Student

Pictured: Sandra Moraleda, Charlotte Hill, Lanie Gilbert, Jody Porowski and Kanny Morgan

Save the date for the next Women in Entrepreneurship Meeting, featuring VK Fields on March 27, 2015 at 3:00 in the Anne Queen Lounge in the Campus Y.