Download Our New Mogul App Worldwide

Become your best self with a community of real women around the world who have your back.

Download Now

#AskAMogul:Hi,I'mCatherineBarba.I'maserialentrepreneuranddigitalpioneerinEuropewhoistheFounderofWinforumNY.Askmeanything!YourquestionswillbeansweredLIVE2/2@10amET.

Catherine Barba
Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
over 1 year New York, NY, United States Conversation

Your questions will be answered on Friday, February 2nd at 10am ET. To ask a question, click here to create a Mogul profile, then post a question in the comment section below!

Hi! I'm Catherine Barba. I'm a serial entrepreneur and digital pioneer in Europe. I'm the Founder of WinforumNY and am an Ambassador at La French Tech NY.

I'm recognized as being one of the top global experts in the intersection of retail and digital transformation since 1996. I develop the New-York-based PEPS Lab, a Retail Innovation Center that discovers the most promising retail omnichannel practices, from major retailers to fashion brands.  

Previously, I founded several digital businesses in France. My consulting firm, Malinea, which provides coaching and consulting to leaders of global organizations, helping them fuel innovation and accelerate transformation, was acquired in 2012 by the founders of Vente Privee, one of France’s first unicorns. Before that, my previous company Cashstore, a cash-back website partnering with over 1,200 e-commerce merchants, was acquired by Plebicom Group in 2010. 

Some fun facts about me are that I've authored several books about the future of retail, including “Stores are not dead”. I'm also a thought leader in digital entrepreneurship where I've had over 200 speaking engagements in 2015 alone. Since 2009, I've served as a regular commentator on the leading French news programs BFM Business, and I host a TV program series aimed at amplifying the diversity of entrepreneurs in technology startups in France. 

I'm proud to be one of the few French female business angels, and serve on the board of several successful tech start-ups, including Leetchi, MangoPay, Reech and Retency. 

In 2015 and 2016, I was named one of 50 most influential figures in Europe’s digital economy, and in 2014 one of 3 most influential female figures in France. In June 2017, I was appointed to the Board of Directors of Renault-Nissan. 

Now's your chance to ask me anything! Please write your questions in the comments section below and I'll answer the questions live on Friday, February 2nd at 10am ET.

**Note: La French Tech is a global movement celebrating french innovation, entrepreneurship and startups. The NYC French Tech Hub gathers French and American entrepreneurs, top executives, investors, engineers and public leaders. With more than 150 startups in NY co-founded by at least one French entrepreneur, La French Tech is a dynamic and diverse community.**

36 replies

As a guest user, you can still reply to conversations. Just press the "Reply" button below, which will prompt you to sign in or sign up on Mogul before your Reply posts.

  • Catherine Barba
    Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    Oooooh it's nearly 11am, I have to leave you guys, c'est la vie :-) I'm SORRY for not answering all of your great questions, it takes me so much time to write in English. Let's continue the conversation on Linkedin or Twitter @cathbarba I'd be glad to help you if I can. And please, SAVE THE DATE: on May 21 in New York I will host the Women in Innovation Forum NY for the third year, with an exciting theme "Diversity Powers Innovation". Join in, we're going to have so much fun.

    Thank you Bethany and Mogul for the great opportunity. A bientot les amis!

    Oooooh it's nearly 11am, I have to leave you guys, c'est la vie :-) I'm SORRY for not answering all of your great questions, it takes me so much time to write in English. Let's continue the conversation on Linkedin or Twitter @cathbarba I'd be glad to help you if I can. And please, SAVE THE DATE: on May 21 in New York I will host the Women in Innovation Forum NY for the third year, with an exciting theme "Diversity Powers Innovation". Join in, we're going to have so much fun.

    Thank you Bethany and Mogul for the great opportunity. A bientot les amis!

  • Catherine Barba
    Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    I am super excited to be with you on Mogul! I'll do my best to answer as many questions as possible. PLEASE be indulgent with my English, I am still struggling with it ;) OK, let's get started

    I am super excited to be with you on Mogul! I'll do my best to answer as many questions as possible. PLEASE be indulgent with my English, I am still struggling with it ;) OK, let's get started

  • Catherine Barba
    Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    Bonjour everyone!


    Bonjour everyone!


  • DeborahAudu
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    As your start-ups scale, what advice would you give to ensure that a positive company culture is continuously cultivated?

    As your start-ups scale, what advice would you give to ensure that a positive company culture is continuously cultivated?

  • DeborahAudu
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    As a serial entrepreneur, do you have an established decision process to determine when to pivot (or exit) your ventures?

    As a serial entrepreneur, do you have an established decision process to determine when to pivot (or exit) your ventures?

  • fsagnard
    over 1 year ago

    What is/are the most promising sub-sector(s) in your view ? 

    What is/are the most promising sub-sector(s) in your view ? 

  • Haley23
    over 1 year ago

    Why did you decide to transplant to NYC?

    Why did you decide to transplant to NYC?

    • Catherine Barba
      Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
      over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

      Hi! Thank you for asking. Why moving abroad? To make room for discovery. To do new things. To change perspective. To meet new people. I’m propelled by curiosity, I want to learn and to constantly try to be better and do better.

      Hi! Thank you for asking. Why moving abroad? To make room for discovery. To do new things. To change perspective. To meet new people. I’m propelled by curiosity, I want to learn and to constantly try to be better and do better.

  • Jeantourpier
    over 1 year ago

    What lessons have you learned from creating and selling two tech ventures?

    What lessons have you learned from creating and selling two tech ventures?

  • EstherWeis
    over 1 year ago

    What qualities of a founder do you value as an investor?

    What qualities of a founder do you value as an investor?

  • simonferry
    simonferry Designer
    over 1 year ago United States

    Incredibly interesting as for me )

    Incredibly interesting as for me )

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    Hi @Catherine Barba! What does the future of retail look like, in terms of a customer experience? 

    Hi @Catherine Barba! What does the future of retail look like, in terms of a customer experience? 

    • Catherine Barba
      Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
      over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

      Hi Bethany, thank you for your question! From what I am observing, the future of customer experience is twofold:


      As customers, we will first be provided with 'High Utility Experiences': purchasing a product will be faster, easier, frictionless, just like in the Amazon Go new store - I'd love to go to Seattle to test it! - or from home with voice-controlled intelligent personal assistants - 'I want my favorite pizza with extra pepperoni delivered at home please '.

      At the same time there will be more and more 'High Fidelity Experiences': immersive, experiential, personalized shopping experiences. Stores will become communities, lifestyle centers, shopping-themed entertainment parks, with water parks, sports activity spaces, 3D cinema complex... The least interesting thing about a product is purchasing it. People wont' go anymore to a store just for a transaction.

      Hi Bethany, thank you for your question! From what I am observing, the future of customer experience is twofold:


      As customers, we will first be provided with 'High Utility Experiences': purchasing a product will be faster, easier, frictionless, just like in the Amazon Go new store - I'd love to go to Seattle to test it! - or from home with voice-controlled intelligent personal assistants - 'I want my favorite pizza with extra pepperoni delivered at home please '.

      At the same time there will be more and more 'High Fidelity Experiences': immersive, experiential, personalized shopping experiences. Stores will become communities, lifestyle centers, shopping-themed entertainment parks, with water parks, sports activity spaces, 3D cinema complex... The least interesting thing about a product is purchasing it. People wont' go anymore to a store just for a transaction.

  • Mblanchard
    over 1 year ago

    Who are your heroes?

    Who are your heroes?

    • Catherine Barba
      Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
      over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

      All mothers of 2+ kids planning birthday parties haha

      All mothers of 2+ kids planning birthday parties haha

      • Catherine Barba
        Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
        over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

        More seriously, my parents

        More seriously, my parents

        • Catherine Barba
          Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
          over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

          People going through hard time, living tragedies, who continue to smile, who continue to believe, despite everything, because they don’t lose hope.

          People going through hard time, living tragedies, who continue to smile, who continue to believe, despite everything, because they don’t lose hope.

          • Catherine Barba
            Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
            over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

            'Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind."

            'Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind."

            • Mblanchard
              over 1 year ago

              Hi Catherine! Thank you for your answers. Really inspiring!

              Hi Catherine! Thank you for your answers. Really inspiring!

  • aureliebouzelmat
    over 1 year ago

    How can one reconcile the global reach that digital retail allows and the trend of consumers wanting more local products and control/transparency over the origin and quality of these products? What opportunities will be brought by technology/innovation in this space?

    How can one reconcile the global reach that digital retail allows and the trend of consumers wanting more local products and control/transparency over the origin and quality of these products? What opportunities will be brought by technology/innovation in this space?

  • Nathalie Pannetier 78
    [deleted]
    over 1 year ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Nathalie Pannetier 78
    over 1 year ago

    What is, in your view, the most misunderstood or underestimated global digital trend? 

    What is, in your view, the most misunderstood or underestimated global digital trend? 

    • Catherine Barba
      Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
      over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

      Bonjour Nathalie, that’s a great question, thank you for asking! 

      More than a trend, I believe Alibaba is a heavyweight champion to whom we should pay a MUCH greater attention. There is so much to learn from them with 11.11, Taobao, Tmall, New Retail, AliExpress, Cainiao Network, and their Cloud Computing activity… 
      Alibaba has announced yesterday December Quarter 2017 results, they are growing extremely fast, and there are very profitable. Their revenue was $12 million, with an increase of 56% YoY. Annual active consumers reached 515 million (+ 27 million from the last 12-month period) and 580 million mobile users. This is AMAZING. We have eyes on Amazon, but certainly we should attentively observe Alibaba, who is inventing the retail of the future. 
      I am curious: what would you say is the most misunderstood or underestimated global digital trend? Merci!! 

      Bonjour Nathalie, that’s a great question, thank you for asking! 

      More than a trend, I believe Alibaba is a heavyweight champion to whom we should pay a MUCH greater attention. There is so much to learn from them with 11.11, Taobao, Tmall, New Retail, AliExpress, Cainiao Network, and their Cloud Computing activity… 
      Alibaba has announced yesterday December Quarter 2017 results, they are growing extremely fast, and there are very profitable. Their revenue was $12 million, with an increase of 56% YoY. Annual active consumers reached 515 million (+ 27 million from the last 12-month period) and 580 million mobile users. This is AMAZING. We have eyes on Amazon, but certainly we should attentively observe Alibaba, who is inventing the retail of the future. 
      I am curious: what would you say is the most misunderstood or underestimated global digital trend? Merci!! 

      • Nathalie Pannetier 78
        over 1 year ago

        Thank you Catherine. I think we don't know what "voice" will do to our environment. The smartphone came to our lives 10 years ago and changed everything. This will be as momentous, or even more momentous, a change. It is still misunderstood, perhaps not totally underestimated... 

        Thank you Catherine. I think we don't know what "voice" will do to our environment. The smartphone came to our lives 10 years ago and changed everything. This will be as momentous, or even more momentous, a change. It is still misunderstood, perhaps not totally underestimated... 

      • Nathalie Pannetier 78
        over 1 year ago

        Thank you Catherine. I think we don't know what "voice" will do to our environment. The smartphone came to our lives 10 years ago and changed everything. This will be as momentous, or even more momentous, a change. It is still misunderstood, perhaps not totally underestimated... 

        Thank you Catherine. I think we don't know what "voice" will do to our environment. The smartphone came to our lives 10 years ago and changed everything. This will be as momentous, or even more momentous, a change. It is still misunderstood, perhaps not totally underestimated... 

        • Catherine Barba
          Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
          over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

          I agree, voice search will definitely impact our behaviours, attitudes and ultimately, our life. 

          I agree, voice search will definitely impact our behaviours, attitudes and ultimately, our life. 

  • fsagnard
    over 1 year ago

    What are the key ingredients to be a successful woman entrepreneur? What was the best and worst moment of your entrepreneurial journey? 

    What are the key ingredients to be a successful woman entrepreneur? What was the best and worst moment of your entrepreneurial journey? 

    • Catherine Barba
      Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
      over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

      Hi there! Oh, this is a hard one. There are so many required qualities to succeed as an entrepreneur. I would say:

      Hi there! Oh, this is a hard one. There are so many required qualities to succeed as an entrepreneur. I would say:

      • Catherine Barba
        Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
        over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

        1. Be fearless. I love the Fearless Girl bronze sculpture facing the Wall Street bull statue at Bowling Green. She is a little bit crazy, but she faces risk, and she embraces fail. I often say to myself: my loved ones, my parents, my friends will always love me, even if I fail. There is nothing to fear about.

        1. Be fearless. I love the Fearless Girl bronze sculpture facing the Wall Street bull statue at Bowling Green. She is a little bit crazy, but she faces risk, and she embraces fail. I often say to myself: my loved ones, my parents, my friends will always love me, even if I fail. There is nothing to fear about.

        • Catherine Barba
          Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
          over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

          2. Energy is key. Entrepreneurs need to have a high level of energy (and patience and tenacity and resilience). There are so many shocks to absorb along the way. We’re warriors!

          2. Energy is key. Entrepreneurs need to have a high level of energy (and patience and tenacity and resilience). There are so many shocks to absorb along the way. We’re warriors!

          • Catherine Barba
            Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
            over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

            3 - Execution (my fav). If you’re obsessed with pragmatic outcomes, obsessed with execution, you’re on the right way.

            3 - Execution (my fav). If you’re obsessed with pragmatic outcomes, obsessed with execution, you’re on the right way.

            • Catherine Barba
              Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
              over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

              4 - Customers. A very strong sense of customers is definitely key. I love founders who are 100% data-driven based upon success and failures of their customer experience. It makes them able to decide what is best for the customer and ultimately, what is best for the company.

              4 - Customers. A very strong sense of customers is definitely key. I love founders who are 100% data-driven based upon success and failures of their customer experience. It makes them able to decide what is best for the customer and ultimately, what is best for the company.

              • Catherine Barba
                Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
                over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

                5 - People. People is what matters most - you know that, right? Great founders surround themselves with people who make them better, people who know better than they do. 

                5 - People. People is what matters most - you know that, right? Great founders surround themselves with people who make them better, people who know better than they do. 

                • Catherine Barba
                  Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
                  over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

                  Now my best moments as an entrepreneur? I would say NOW, because I live fully in the present moment, centered on the here and now (I must be totally buddhist inside ;-). But if I make the effort to think about the past, I remember Cashtore, my first venture, Malinea, my second venture sold to unicorn vente-privee.com, and since 2015 my third venture, the Women in Innovation Forum New York. I realize that it’s all the times I’ve worked the hardest that it has been the most fun, because with my – fantastic, crazy - teams we were accomplishing great things. I have a strong feeling of gratitude for that. 

                  The worst moment was after selling my second venture, I was unhappy because I had sold for the wrong reasons, fear and ego.  

                  Now my best moments as an entrepreneur? I would say NOW, because I live fully in the present moment, centered on the here and now (I must be totally buddhist inside ;-). But if I make the effort to think about the past, I remember Cashtore, my first venture, Malinea, my second venture sold to unicorn vente-privee.com, and since 2015 my third venture, the Women in Innovation Forum New York. I realize that it’s all the times I’ve worked the hardest that it has been the most fun, because with my – fantastic, crazy - teams we were accomplishing great things. I have a strong feeling of gratitude for that. 

                  The worst moment was after selling my second venture, I was unhappy because I had sold for the wrong reasons, fear and ego.  

  • Shantel Risher
    Shantel Risher Digital Operation Associate
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to start their own consulting firm?

    What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to start their own consulting firm?

    • Catherine Barba
      Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
      over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

      Hi Shantel! If you’re about to start your own consulting firm, keep in mind that revenue is what will keep your business going. Before starting, secure a stream of revenue. You will spend most of your time selling: to potential clients, then to your future employees, to partners, maybe to investors... More than an exceptional expert at something that has real value, you first have to be a business person, obsessed with pragmatic outcomes. 

      Hi Shantel! If you’re about to start your own consulting firm, keep in mind that revenue is what will keep your business going. Before starting, secure a stream of revenue. You will spend most of your time selling: to potential clients, then to your future employees, to partners, maybe to investors... More than an exceptional expert at something that has real value, you first have to be a business person, obsessed with pragmatic outcomes. 

      • Catherine Barba
        Catherine Barba Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer
        over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

        Then I have a motto: always give before you take. In order to attract new business partners and talents, you’ll have to constantly demonstrate your value. Make the most significant contribution in your particular area, based in authenticity and a genuine desire to add value to those around you. Never consider that you ‘know’ but rather that you have to gain new expertise, develop new capabilities every day. Are you rather a writer, a talker or a teacher? If you are a writer, post regularly on Linkedin, Medium, Slideshare… and write a book! If you’re a talker, take the mic and show up on as many stages as possible! If you’re a teacher, try to teach courses and give lectures. Competition is tough: to stand out from the crowd is not an option. Thank you for your question Shantel, I hope it helps and I wish you all the best in your new venture! 

        Then I have a motto: always give before you take. In order to attract new business partners and talents, you’ll have to constantly demonstrate your value. Make the most significant contribution in your particular area, based in authenticity and a genuine desire to add value to those around you. Never consider that you ‘know’ but rather that you have to gain new expertise, develop new capabilities every day. Are you rather a writer, a talker or a teacher? If you are a writer, post regularly on Linkedin, Medium, Slideshare… and write a book! If you’re a talker, take the mic and show up on as many stages as possible! If you’re a teacher, try to teach courses and give lectures. Competition is tough: to stand out from the crowd is not an option. Thank you for your question Shantel, I hope it helps and I wish you all the best in your new venture! 


Catherine Barba
Serial Entrepreneur and Digital Based Pioneer

Catherine Barba is a French-born serial entrepreneur and digital pioneer based in New York since 2015. She has founded and sold several digital businesses in France. A trusted angel investor and mentor, she serves on the board of successful European tech startups, including Leetchi, MangoPay, Reech [...]

Report this post
Report this post

Want your dream job or internship?

Join the women worldwide who discovered their next opportunity on Mogul.

Get My Dream Job Now

Moguls Interested in Entrepreneurs

Want your dream job or internship?

Join the women worldwide who discovered their next opportunity on Mogul.

Get My Dream Job Now

Trending Stories

See All Stories

Trending Jobs

See All Jobs

Trending Marketplace

See All Marketplace