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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Paragon Lake and the Future of Retail Jewelery

Imagine walking into a jewelery store, skipping the catalogs and the display, and instead designing your own ring using easy-to-use 3D tools linked to a just-in-time production process. If Jason Reuben and Matt Lauzon have their way, the company they lead, Paragon Lake, will bring this innovation in retail to thousands of independent jewelery stores around the world.

Jason visited the Startup Leadership Program last week and gave a candid overview of what it took to graduate the company from an idea inside the dorms of Babson College, to a venture backed company.

The commitment and dedication of entrepreneurs like Jason is always inspiring, as well as entertaining. In addition to giving the group the typical Executive Summary overview of what his company does and how it got there, he also shared some of the early life lessons in building a team, sharing a vision, and getting it funded. We learned how the tight-knit jewelry community provided Matt and himself with some interesting misadventures that could be taken out of a Ben Mezrich novel (replace Vegas with LA, and chips with diamonds). Despite his relaxed demeanor, the company has impressive technology behind their concept of distributed design and manufacturing that is certainly game changing.

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