Entrepreneur

Kristen Bell and Her Cofounders Built a Company to Save Lives. But Growing It Wasn't So Simple.

With an entrepreneurial can-do mindset, the four Hollywood vets have built a business with soaring sales and global impact.
Source: Nigel Parry
Nigel Parry

Four Hollywood actors had a big idea: Launch a snack bar and use the sales to help feed malnourished kids around the world. They had a big name, This Bar Saves Lives, for their company. And as they sat around their office -- which was really just one of their condos -- in the early days of the business, they dreamed up their biggest possible goals and wrote them on a chalkboard.

“We brainstormed what success, on the business side, would look like. I’m not talking about growth trajectory or EBITDA here -- I’m talking about wild indicators that would mean we’d made it,” says Ryan Devlin, one of the company’s cofounders. They wrote down three things: (1) Bars in the White House; (2) Bars in space; (3) Bars in Starbucks.

They’re still working on the first two. But with a little gumption, the third proved attainable -- and would force the company to rethink exactly what it is and who should even lead it.

This is often how it goes with mission-driven businesses. Their founders start with full hearts and eager plans, but not necessarily a full grasp on what it takes to scale their ambitions. Devlin admits it himself, and even sees

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