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Sarah Kauss      

Founder & Chairwoman of S’well; Entrepreneur; Leadership Expert

Sarah Kauss is the Founder and Chairwoman of S’well. She is a consumer products leader with a track record in launching companies, building multi-million dollar successful brands, and assembling high-performance senior leadership teams. She is a successful global entrepreneur, product design expert and has deep experience in partnering with multinational corporations to become more sustainable and meet environmental goals.

Kauss held the position of CEO of S’well for ten years: bootstrapping with $30k of her savings to reach over $100M in revenue. During this time, Sarah created a new category and well-loved brand, helping to make sustainability more mainstream. An early advocate of the importance of ESG, Environmental, Social and Governance, in business, Kauss integrated values and impact within S’well from the start. Today, S'well is a Certified B Corp with a wide range of products that has helped displace more than 4 billion single-use plastic bottles.

Prior to S’well, Kauss was an international real estate developer with a publicly-traded real estate equity investment trust where she spent six years with increasing responsibility leading large international collaborations and partnerships. Kauss started her career in public accounting with EY (formerly Ernst & Young), as a Certified Public Accountant, working in both tax consulting and the auditing function. She provided professional services to public and privately held companies in the technology, consumer products and media sectors.

Kauss regularly shares her lessons learned and most important entrepreneurial moments with the press, including Inc., Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg, NPR and more. She has been recognized as a Fortune’s “40 Under 40” honoree, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Woman and awarded the Harvard Business School Club of New York's Entrepreneurship Award. Under Sarah’s leadership, S’well was named #1 Fastest-Growing, women-led company by the Women Presidents’ Organization, was honored with the Brand Design award by Inc. magazine and placement on the Inc. 500 List (top 100) of fastest-growing, privately-held companies.

Kauss sits on the UNICEF USA New York Regional Board, is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School and a mentor in the Fortune-State Department Global Mentoring Program. Sarah is a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and a member of the 2020 Class of Braddock Scholars within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. She earned a BS in accounting from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Speech Topics

Moderated Q&A FAQs

S’well’s Journey

Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey?

Did you always want to be an entrepreneur, or was it more “right time, right place”?

How did you come up with the idea for S'well?

What has been your greatest learning along the way?

S’well Evolution of Change

What makes S'well so unique?

How do you continue to innovate?

What’s next for S’well?

S’well’s Commitment to Sustainability

What is S’well’s mission?

How do you bring it and S'well's purpose to life?

When did sustainability become important to the brand?

What advice do you have for brands that are looking to build more sustainability and purpose into their business?


How do you support others in their entrepreneurship/career journey?

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?


How has COVID impacted your ideas about business? Leadership?


How This Ex-accountant Built a $100m Empire in Just 6 Years
S’well Founder Sarah Kauss on Meaningful Mentorship
Startup Lessons from S’well Founder Sarah Kauss
S'well founder Sarah Kauss's secrets to success
How S'well founder Sarah Kauss built her water bottle empire
S'well: Sarah Kauss
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S'well Joins Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week -- NEW YORK, Aug. 21 ...
Sarah Kauss founded S'well, a New York City based company, in 2010 with a mission to merge style and function. When designing the S'well bottle, Sarah ...
Sarah Kauss, S'well named a 2014 EY North American ...
From Yahoo Finance: NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EY announced that Sarah Kauss, S'well was named one of 13 winners of the 2014 class of ...
S'well's founder, Sarah Kauss, is more than her gender
Sarah Kauss has turned her immaculately designed stainless steal water bottles into what could end up being a $13 million a year business by the end of this ...
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