Coss Marte is getting ready to pitch his company to a panel of prominent entrepreneurs and an audience of hundreds. He’s competing against five other startups for a chance at $100,000. With this money, Coss hopes to grow his small exercise studio in the Lower East Side of Manhattan into an international fitness brand.
But this isn’t his first experience with scaling up. In his early twenties, Coss ran a business that brought in nearly $4 million in annual revenue, a business that catered to doctors, judges and lawyers. A business that landed him a seven year prison sentence.
This is part one of Coss’s story on his path from felon to founder.