Entrepreneur Interview with Kate Endress Founder of DITTO

Kate Endress

DITTO’s product line included prescription and non-prescription designer eyeglasses and sunglasses. The company carried brands such as Ray-Ban, Persol, Chloé, TAG Heuer, and Vera Wang, as well as niche fashion and boutique brands like Jason Wu, Selima Optique, Alain Mikli, Anglo American, and John Varvatos.

I could see my dream of becoming an All-American slipping away as major universities lost interest in me due to the injury. I endured countless hours of strenuous physical therapy, but the injury forced me to sit out during the most important recruiting season, and I lost the interest of hundreds of top schools. Luckily, I had garnered enough attention prior to the injury to attract the interest of a few regional schools, and I signed a letter of intent with Ball State University. Instead of focusing on an opportunity lost, I decided to be the driving force in building a stronger women’s basketball program at Ball State. I was the first three-year captain in the program’s history and, despite playing at a mid-major university, I was still able to garner All-American status, was named the Academic All-American Player of the Year, and was drafted by the WNBA.

VC-funded Company:

I spent countless hours watching and listening to people buying glasses in retail stores or optometrist offices. I gained an understanding the existing pain points, garnered insights which have led to some of our coolest features, and developed a deep inner confidence that we were solving a problem that mattered which came into play when things got tough later. 1)Our innovative, interactive 3D video try-on technology lets customers see if the glasses actually fit them before they buy. Our competitors use 2D pictures that don’t scale the glasses properly and aren’t interactive. LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas men’s basketball team overcame its biggest deficit of the season to beat visiting Georgia Tech in overtime, Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kate Endress

I don’t love the idea of ‘seeking a mentor.’ I like getting support from authentic, naturally formed relationships with friends, family and investors. I have a few female friends in particular who are also starting their own businesses so I have a network of people around me when I need to vent, swap stories or ask for an opinion. There is an a-ha moment where a customer sees their DITTO for the first time and goes, “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this before. This is awesome.” I love hearing customer stories from people who think they have a unique head size and were finally able to find a pair of glasses they really love.

Who are Ditto Technologies key executives?

I couldn’t find any sites that had a good enough collection of designer products. We are partnered with 30 top designer brands , including Ray-Ban, Persol, Illesteva, John Varvatos, Anglo American, Alain Mikli and many more, so that you have products you love regardless of your style, face shape or face size. I also didn’t like the service policies of existing sites. Bad experiences buying glasses in stores driven by limited style choices, an awkward try-on experience (when you take off your glasses you can’t see yourself in the mirror), expensive products, and a 2 week wait to get our glasses. We knew we could build a better experience by giving people a wider selection of top designer styles at all price points and building technology that shows you how the products actually fit on your unique face in 3D. Long term, I hope we can move into apparel, but for now we are very happy helping customers people find glasses that fit them perfectly. Ditto is an e-commerce site selling a wide collection of the best designer glasses and sunglasses.

  • I think it’s telling that most of our sales have come from happy customers telling their friends about us.
  • After my basketball career ended, I spent four years working on Wall Street and in private equity.
  • You can watch an interview I did with USAToday on Lean In here.
  • “CEO Kate Endress, a Stanford Business School alum who co-founded the company with engineers Sergey Surkov and Dmitry Kornilov”, Fast Company, 24 July 2012.
  • Opinions expressed by interviewee participants are their own.

I think it’s telling that most of our sales have come from happy customers telling their friends about us. Our computer vision algorithms are machine learning meaning the more DITTOs that are made, the more data we have to train our feature detectors. The more accurate the feature detection, the better the overall outcome. We’ve come a long way in the past 6 months and are excited that over 50,000 people have made their DITTOs. This has improved our technology to the point where 9 out of 10 people will get an “excellent” outcome as determined by our internal analytics. Given we create your DITTO with a video from a front-facing camera, the iPad was an obvious extension to our website.


During her junior year Endress developed a serious stress fracture on her vertebrae causing her to miss most of the season. This lead to her missing out on high profile universities https://wave-accounting.net/ that might have wanted to recruit her. This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site.

Georgia Tech’s Jarrett Jack led all scorers with 26 points. “announced that it has picked up a $3 million in funding from a group of investors led by August Capital”, Techcrunch, 26 April 2012. “Evansville’s central location allows prompt and cost-effective shipping for the distribution of Ditto products to anywhere throughout the U.S.”, Evansville Business, 20 July 2012. “CEO Kate Endress, a Stanford Business School alum who co-founded the company with engineers Sergey Surkov and Dmitry Kornilov”, Fast Company, 24 July 2012.

Kate Endress DoerksenRelated People

Endress continued her academic and athletic career at Ball State University in Muncie. I am not a fan of the term “work/life balance” and the discussion of “having it all”. I am a fan of talking honestly and openly about trade-offs that make sense for your specific family and situation. I spent time each day reflecting about what is really important and I prioritize those items relentlessly. My vision for DITTO is to be the next great retailer so I hope you see us use our technology and go into other verticals like jewelry and maybe apparel. Virtual try on technology is not a new concept, but to date, there were no tools that were sophisticated enough to solve the fit problem. Most of them just allow you to upload a picture and they Photoshop the glasses on top.

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Senior guard Keith Langford nailed a fall-away jumper with 3.3 seconds remaining for the victory. Endress played professional basketball in the WNBA, and founded the startup company, DITTO.com. I always smile when I see a woman speak articulately and with conviction, confidently ask for raises and promotions, and raise her hand to run a project or lead a team because she knows she’s the best person for the job. Ditto licenses virtual try-on and frame recommendation technology to the world’s best eyewear retailers. In 2011 Endress founded the digital startup company, DITTO.com.

DITTO was founded in 2011 by Kate Endress, Sergey Surkov, and Dmitry Kornilov. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, CA with fulfillment and distribution operations in Evansville, IN. Endress doubled as an academic, graduating summa cum laude in 2005. She ranks second in career points and three-pointers on Ball State’s all time list. Endress was selected for the MAC All-Freshman team in 2002. She was a two time All-MAC First Team Selection in 2004 and 2005 and was on the MAC All-Tournament Team in 2003. As a senior, Endress was a 2001 Indiana All-Star in basketball, averaging 25.9 points and 8.4 rebounds.

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Based in San Francisco, it uses patent-pending technology to let shoppers create a a 3D virtual self, from video footage from their webcam. Shoppers can then virtually try on glasses to see how they fit in 180 degree views before they buy them from the site. Ditto is a personalized shopping experience created around the needs of eyewear retailers. Using augmented reality and machine learning, our virtual try-on platform captures facial data — and combines it with personal preferences — to make insightful recommendations, determine precise fit and style, and visualize it all in vivid realism. DITTO.com is an eCommerce site for designer eyewear with patented technology. But simply having leadership traits does not make a great leader. To me, greatness is about being competent and hard working enough to be respected, passionate enough to inspire our team, our vendors, and our customers, and smart enough to build a team of people that is even smarter.