Daniel Folkman ’12 joined goPuff—co-founded by Forbes “30 Under 30” awardees Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola—as one of the early employees. goPuff is a digital convenience retailer delivering thousands of products directly to customers. Folkman was brought on to lead the business development function and has spearheaded the development and scaling of goPuff’s partnership strategy.
For today’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to not only survive, but thrive, “innovate or die” is the name of the game. While product innovation is key for large established CPG brands and start-ups alike, CPGs need to innovate across the entire spectrum of their business, from product, to branding, to how they communicate with shoppers, to how they enable product purchasing and delivery, and how they leverage data to target consumers.
goPuff has been able to develop a unique and valuable offering to help these companies adapt to the new age of retail and that enable them to win in the race for digital “shelf space.” goPuff’s innovative partnerships allow CPG brands to micro-target consumers and provide an ultra-convenient digital shopping experience, especially to highly coveted millennial and Gen Z consumers—driving sales and building long-lasting brand loyalty with target consumers.
Over the last two plus years, Folkman has developed unique and innovative partnerships with leading CPG companies such as Coca Cola, Kraft Heinz, Unilever and Kellogg’s—as featured in Food Dive, Mobile Marketer, Philly magazine and Retail Touchpoints—while scaling goPuff’s partnerships department to 12 employees across Brand Partnerships, Partner Success and Consumer Insights teams. These partnerships deliver invaluable insights and media opportunities while providing a substantial incremental revenue stream for the business.
In addition to partnerships, Folkman has oversight of goPuff’s communications and aggressive market expansion functions, with the company tripling its footprint in 2018.
goPuff is unique from other delivery services in that it has centrally located warehouses stocked with inventory in each market in which it operates, allowing the company to control the entire experience and bring products directly to the customer, thanks to its more than 400 employees nationwide.
The concept is extremely popular among college students and millennials and it serves more than 50 U.S. markets, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and many, many more. goPuff can be downloaded on iOS or Android or found at www.gopuff.com.
Folkman graduated from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in 2012 with a dual major in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises and Finance and a minor in Economics. While at Syracuse, Folkman participated in the Syracuse Student Sandbox, the IDEA Awards Competition and many other startup events.
He has since spent time investing and advising in early stage startups, participating on panels at conferences, such as SXSW and Shop.org, and speaking to Fortune 500 executive teams on innovation, new retail and digital transformation. Additionally, he serves on the Young Whitman Advisory Council for the Whitman School.