Catherine Barba is a French serial tech entrepreneur and digital pioneer based in NYC since 2015, when she launched the PEPS Lab, a Retail Innovation Center that discovers the newest, most promising retail omnichannel practices, from major retailers to fashion brands. Barba also searches out and tests every tool and service that could be the next big thing to help retailers innovate in their quest for true omnichannel seamlessness. PEPS Lab has a rapidly growing list of major retail brands, of both French and American origin, including Orange, AccorHotels, L’Oréal, Axa, L’Occitane, Nespresso..
A serial entrepreneur and digital pioneer in Europe, Catherine Barba has founded or co-founded several digital businesses in France. Her consulting firm, Malinea, which provides coaching and training to managers in digital, mobile and e-commerce companies, was acquired in 2012 by the founders of VENTE-PRIVE.com, one of France’s first ‘unicorns’. Her previous company Cashstore, a cash-back website partnering with over 1,200 e-commerce merchants, was acquired by PLEBICOM Group in 2010.
Barba is the author of several books about eCommerce and the future of retail, including “2020, the end of eCommerce” or “Stores are not dead”.
A trusted advisor and mentor, Barba is a business investor, and serves on the board of several successful tech start-ups created by women, including Leetchi, MangoPay (sold in 2015 to Credit Mutuel Arkea for M$50), Reech and Retency, (who raised M$5 in 2016), among others. She also produces a TV program series for the third year in a row called “Entreprendre c’est grandir” (meaning Start your business and grow) aimed at encouraging young women to start a tech business.
As a thought leader in digital entrepreneurship, Barba had over 200 speaking engagements in 2015 alone. In 2014 she was names one of three most influential female figures in France.
Over the years, Barba has actively promoted and supported female entrepreneurship in France, mostly out of a strong feeling of gratitude for the opportunities the entrepreneurial track has given her, and also because she had very generous business women help her along the way. She is co-founder of La journee de la Femme Digitale in Paris and of the Women in Innovqtion Forum in New York.
“Our world needs more women leaders. I do believe the digital era is a unique opportunity for women to change the rules. My goal is to empower the next generation of female innovators. There are a thousand ways to innovate, from starting a tech business to pushing away the hurdles that are thrown in your professional way. I want women to think big and unleash new opportunities and I believe that by highlighting role models of innovators in all area, we can change the narrative”.
On Twitter: @cathbarba