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 delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. 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