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Featured on Sep 15, 2011

Tarek Pertew

"Entry to the mind is through emotion, not logic."


UVA grad. Enjoy Soccer. Married. No kids. Own event planning biz. Currently working on new customer loyalty & acquisition project. Organizer of The Silicon Alley Talent Fair.

  • Title: Prez
  • Age: 29
  • Location: SoHo
  • Contact: @tarekp

Your most recent startup, Parrut, is geared toward helping businesses grow through their existing customer base.  How did this idea come about?

It began when a client of my previous business basically said 'You know what I really need...". At the time we were working on something entirely different (a technology in the jobs space) and after a few other clients surfaced with similar pain points, we decided to move on it. It's still very early but Parrut feels quicker to market (after the first week of beta launch, our clients were using Parrut to reach roughly 1.5m customers). There's also a larger sense of urgency around the need of using your existing customers/users to acquire new ones, especially with the growing ease of reaching an audience online. I think it's going to be more fun as well...

When you were you in college at University of Virginia studying International Business/Marketing/Management, what did you think you’d be doing after graduation?

I had no idea. I was confused as hell, knew I'd end up in a corporate job to my dismay (which I did for 3 years), but was hoping I'd figure out a plan for starting my own business. UVa didn't really embrace entrepreneurship back then (though I hear that is changing now) and much of the energy within the business school (McIntire) was for the financial markets, which didn't interest me. But I knew this was my calling and finally found my start when I was 25 with an event planning business called MyWorkster.

Favorite restaurant in Brooklyn?  Recommended dish at that restaurant?

Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn Heights is probably my favorite, though Henry Public (Cobble Hill) has great food & an amazing atmosphere. Honestly everything at Jack the Horse has pleased me, but I recall the munk fish being exceptional (I think it was a special...). For Henry Public, go for brunch & add a Bloody Mary to your order.

Business Development, Marketing