Forte Foundation Profiles ‘Tenacious Juice Entrepreneur’ Hillary Lewis (MBA ’13)

By Dave Hendrick

Forte Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting women in business schools and the professional world, recently featured the story of University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumna Hillary Lewis (MBA ’13), founder and CEO of the cold-pressed juice company Lumi Organics.

The story features her path from high finance to juice entrepreneur, which included building a custom manufacturing facility in Charlottesville. Now based in Philadelphia, where she balances her life as CEO and a new mother, Lewis sells her product into a variety of channels, including supporting multiple professional sports teams.

The MBA helped me step back, be inspired and come up with ideas. At business school, you have different viewpoints from people all over the world, and it’s interesting to hear how they would approach problems. It reset my focus on what I needed to do to be an entrepreneur. You cannot teach entrepreneurship — it has to be experienced, but you can teach how to address problems. Business school is a time to explore —  you don’t have to get that summer consulting or banking internship. You can do community consulting projects or learn about smaller businesses and startups.

While at UVA, I started working for a startup liquor company, and I took sales for the tequila brand from 2,500 cases to over 12,000 cases in six months. Learning about entrepreneurship by doing was pivotal for me.

Read the full story on the Forte Foundation website.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia