Life-and-career path platform OwnTrail raises $250K, builds ‘work from garage’ office space

The OwnTrail crew working on their garage-based office, from left to right: Carolyn Dunn, vice president of engineering, Rebekah Bastian, co-founder and CEO, and Kt McBratney, co-founder and chief brand officer. (Photos courtesy of Max Bastian)

Seattle-based OwnTrail launched in February, just before COVID-19 turned the world upside down — but the startup is weathering the pandemic largely unscathed.

“We’re about helping women make it through hard things,” said co-founder and CEO Rebekah Bastian.

The platform allows women to plot their career and life paths, calling out milestones in their careers, personal relationships and health, while sharing the routes pursued by other women to provide insights and lessons from their journeys. The underlying message is that there is no right way to find happiness.

OwnTrail has grown to include 1,000 registered users and more than 350 profiles in which users share their career and life paths. The business is partnering with organizations including Future For Us, Built By Girls, Women In Product and others to help the groups provide activities and a space for their members to connect.

The OwnTrail team works together in a reimagined garage that is now an office space.

The startup recently closed a $250,000 fundraising round and initiated a crowdfunding campaign that runs through late August to raise an additional $20,000. Bastian said the company opted for crowdfunding “to build awareness and test out demand for our business models.” It is more than 70% toward its funding goal.

The OwnTrail team recently moved into a converted garage at Bastian’s Seattle home. The office plan was in the works as a way to keep costs down before COVID struck. The three full-time employees— Bastian; Kt McBratney, co-founder and chief brand officer; and Carolyn Dunn, vice president of engineering — have created an inner circle of safe contact and work together in person.

Bastian was previously at Zillow for 14 years, leaving her role as vice president of community and culture to start OwnTrail, whose concepts she explores in a book called “Blaze Your Own Trail.”

OwnTrail is one of 26 tech startups joining the Washington Technology Industry Association’s latest Founder Cohort Program. The entrepreneurial cohort was announced last month.

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