Krush Founder Gina Ashe, Survivor of Horrific Car Crash, Has New Lease on Startup Life
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around me like nothing I’ve ever seen. It was intense,” she says. “People showed up at my house with food.”
Ashe says one of her angel investors told her, “Half the reason I funded you is because you’re the most determined, relentless woman I’ve ever met.” Her friends and startup peers would concur. “People like that are unstoppable,” says Katie Rae, who heads up TechStars Boston and co-runs Project 11 Ventures. “You stop seeing walls. You say, ‘I can do whatever I want to do.’”
With a new lease on life, Ashe says she did a lot of “soul searching” and “thought long and hard about doing Krush, especially after the accident.” She says she’s fallen in love with building a business around social networking among teens and 20-somethings. “This is the first generation that grew up on the Internet. They’re so social and global,” she says. “They care about the stories behind the things they buy. They care about where things were made. These guys know what they want to buy. They can tell manufacturers ahead of time and avoid so much waste.”
So we’ll be hearing a lot more about Krush in the future, but it sounds like it’s a Web platform for young people to predict commercial trends, post and share products they think will be popular, and vote ideas up or down; it will incorporate game mechanics, crowdsourcing, and social shopping features. “In six months, we want to have something good to show people,” Ashe says.
As her recovery continues, she has been doing physical therapy in the early morning three or four times a week. And she has been walking without crutches for two weeks now. But some things haven’t returned to normal—and probably won’t for a while. “I haven’t gotten a car yet,” Ashe says. “I’ve been hitching rides.”