Payal Kadakia

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Founder & Chairman, ClassPass

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    Payal Kadakia: Biography at a Glance

    • Payal Kadakia is the founder and chairman of ClassPass, a membership program for fitness classes across multiple gyms and studios
    • ClassPass is one of only 20 female-founded "unicorn" companies in the U.S. to achieve a $1B valuation
    • Founded ClassPass after she was unable to find a dance class she could attend after work
    • ClassPass is available in more than 35 cities and 8,000 studios across the country and around the world.
    • Founder and artistic director of The Sa Dance Company, a contemporary Indian dance company
    • Named one of Fortune’s "40 under 40” and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People"
    • Recognized on The Gold House A100 list which honors Asian and Pacific Islander (API) professionals who have impacted culture and society.
    • Payal’s first book, LifePass: Drop Your Limits, Rise to Your Potential, is now available for preorder.



    Payal Kadakia is the Founder of ClassPass, the leading fitness and wellness membership that was acquired by Mindbody in October 2021. Prior to its acquisition, ClassPass had been valued at over $1 billion with members logging more than 100 million hours of workouts across 30,000 partner studios in over 30 countries.

    Payal is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Sa Dance Company, founded in 2009 with the mission to increase awareness of Indian Dance in the mainstream and serve as a platform for expressing the Indian-American identity through movement. Payal has been featured in most major news outlets, has been listed as Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, and was named to Fortune's 40 under 40 list. 

    Before founding ClassPass, Payal worked at Bain & Company and at Warner Music Group. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT. Payal’s first book, LifePass: Drop Your Limits, Rise to Your Potential, is now available for preorder.


    Life Pass: A Groundbreaking Approach to Goal Settingarrow-down

    Payal Kadakia started the company ClassPass with the original vision for it to be a “Life Pass.” Her goal is to give people the options and the ability to choose how to maximize their time, and hence their life. In this conversation, Payal will inspire her audience by helping them identify what they want out of life, set priorities and goals that reflect who they want to be, and provide them with a concrete plan to get there. 

    She will share her philosophy and offer a guide for living a fulfilled life, providing the step-by-step process she herself uses. The audience will walk away with a better understanding of how to drop their limits and rise to their potential. 

    Becoming a Unicorn: Finding Strength in Your Differences arrow-down

    In 2020, ClassPass became the first company of the decade to reach “unicorn” status, which indicates a startup that has earned a $1 billion valuation. The term “unicorn”, used to highlight the rarity of this type of success, is also a fitting descriptor for ClassPass founder, Payal Kadakia. As a female tech entrepreneur and an Indian-American, Payal has channeled her dual identity and used it to her advantage by bringing her unique perspectives and points of view to her industry. 

    In this conversation, Payal will share with audiences how to break from stereotypes to find novel solutions and create new pathways for success. 

    Payal was great – very friendly and easy to work with! Our students loved her.


    Belmont University

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