Appreciate Out Loud with Lora Kratchounova of Scratch M+M

By Rebecca Chin

Lora Kratchounova has been with Startup Institute since it’s first class as Startup Institute Boston in Summer 2012. As the Principal of Scratch Marketing + Media, her days are spent applying her expertise to help high-growth technology, healthcare IT, and consumer brands understand, embrace, and navigate the new social relationship era.

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Incredibly active in Boston’s startup community, Lora also serves on the Board of Directors for the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) and co-chairs the Marketing Committee. With such a busy schedule, what about Startup Institute keeps her coming back to teach? Why does she continue to offer herself as a resource for those new to the startup world?

Her answer? It’s because of the students. Fiercely curious, they not only ask the hard questions in the classroom but go on to make the connections and apply what Lora discussed to real-world challenges.

“Hi Lora, your recent workshop at Startup Institute was a lot of fun. Thanks for making us think deeper about the specific customer segmentation and the true issues at hand. I really enjoyed the exercise in looking for the less obvious solutions. And I was able to use a lot of the same thinking during our 24-hour IdeaHack the next day to help build a brand. It was incredibly timely!”

When the students reach out to let Lora know that the few hours spent together “helped them think through stuff,” it reaffirms her belief in Startup Institute’s mission to align passion with profession. She’s reminded of how she’s making a difference simply by sharing hers.

Lora found her passion for marketing early on at the American University in Bulgaria, earning a B.A. in Journalism & Communications, and continued to deepen her expertise at Emerson College where she received a M.A. in Advertising & Consumer Relations. But there wasn’t anyone to help her post-graduation. There wasn’t somebody to help her navigate her way during her time at global companies like Shell Oil and American Express, or when she caught the start-up bug.

Lora offered a nugget of insight to the Technical Marketing Track. “People don’t need to recreate the wheel every time. If there’s a way for me to save you time and get you to a certain level, that’s really really meaningful to me.”

Encouragement goes both ways. So shoot a note to that instructor who blew your mind to tell them that. Don’t be afraid to email the CEO who came to speak at the Founder Talk. Whether they reply or not, know that your email may have been archived in their “Why I’m Awesome” folder. They have tough days too, and appreciate the feedback as much as we appreciate their lessons.

Let’s not forget to say thank you.

Let’s not be too shy or too busy to appreciate out loud.