Michael Banu

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I enjoy exploring new products and getting to know brands as they emerge, but nothing beats working with founders and executives during the transformative stages of their businesses. At Stride, I consider myself fortunate to do just that every day.

Prior to joining the founding team at Stride, I was a Principal at Castanea Partners, where I had the great opportunity to work with several amazing companies including West Coast Fitness, Essentia Water, and First Aid Beauty.

I have focused on consumer brands at every step of my career, as both an operator and an investor. Prior to Castanea, I was on the leadership team of a small children’s apparel brand called Little Miss Matched. My time spent there was both exciting and humbling, and gave me a true appreciation of what it takes to build and sustain a brand. I try to bring that perspective to the brands with whom I work. Earlier in my career, I was on the investment team at L Catterton, another consumer-focused private equity firm, and in the consumer investment banking group at J.P. Morgan.

I received an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned my undergraduate degree at Babson College, where I met my wife. I love to ski and golf (poorly), and am on the board of directors of the Decibels Foundation, a non-profit that provides support for children with hearing loss and their families. At our home you’ll often find Beatles records (yes, vinyl) filling the rare moments of silence in a house with two small children.

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