Sian Morson: "The Story"

Sian Morson: "The Story"


This Week's Guest: Sian Morson

SZI-Sian Morson 10 May 17-1232r.jpg


Sian Morson is a start-up founder, a published author, a film producer, creator of a beauty app, and an incredibly down-to-earth interviewee. She’s been on both sides of the investor/start-up founder relationship and is an entrepreneur whose persistence and need to solve nagging problems has served her remarkably well. With a background in film and design, Sian brings us through her career journey while sharing her perspectives on being a black female entrepreneur, what makes a good founder, and when to tackle a big idea.

In this episode, we touch on the evolution of mobile—from the fascination of getting those first text messages, to building an early pharmaceutical app, to Sian’s company Kollective Mobile and her own data-driven beauty app that has earned global recognition.

For listeners who are startup founders or are thinking about a startup, this is another guest whose advice you would otherwise be paying to hear. Sian explains how the challenge of finding a technical co-founder shouldn’t stop any potential entrepreneur in their tracks, and hear one of the more surprising traits she looks for when hearing pitches.

Enjoy this winding story with Sian Morson.


Show Notes


Sian is the CEO of Kollective Mobile, a mobile development agency in Oakland, CA.
Arlan Hamilton on “VC Arlan Hamilton: The Qualities I Look For in a Founder”
Sian is also a Mentor at Backstage Capital.
The first book written on Sketch, Sian’s Designing for iOS with Sketch
Learn Design for iOS Development
High School of Art and Design
Folsom Street Fair (NSFW)


Ebony magazine and Cast Beauty: "Black-owned App Helps Users Stay Beautiful No Matter the Weather"
L’Oreal’s Women in Digital Award Winner for Cast Beauty
A Luv Tale on Amazon Prime Video
Cross Culture Ventures invests in entrepreneurs creating next generation technology and consumer products.


More About Sian Morson

Entrepreneur, Author, Producer, and Investor 

In 2010, Sian founded Kollective Mobile, a company specializing in native mobile development for a range of agencies, startups, and organizations. The company quickly grew, attracting new clients and enabled Sian to create opportunities for others in the social impact space.
Kollective South grew from Sian’s vision of a ‘communi-tech’ center in Atlanta built to offer technical programming in an area known as an innovation desert. Formed in 2013 as one of the first co-working spaces in the Castleberry Hill district, the space functioned as a precursor to newer spaces such as The Gathering Spot, Switchyards, and TechSquare Labs.

In 2014, Sian launched Cast Beauty, a data-driven beauty recommendation platform. Cast was the only beauty app that used a unique algorithm and specific data points from the weather to provide users with personalized beauty product recommendations. Cast Beauty won L’Oreal’s prestigious Women in Digital award presented to women founders of companies with the potential to revolutionize the beauty industry. The app received global attention and write-ups in MarieClaire, Blavity, Ebony, Redbook, PopSugar, and AdAge among others.

Sian has authored 2 books; “Learn Design for iOS” and “Design for iOS with Sketch” (Apress). Design for iOS with Sketch is the first book written on Sketch. Sketch has quickly become the de-facto standard for web and mobile UI design.

Sian began working with notable producer Sidra Smith (Free Angela and all Political Prisoners) on “A Luv Tale” a film originally created by Smith 20 years ago. A Luv Tale has been revived as a web series with a new, original cast and premiered in June 2018.

Sian is an LP with Backstage Capital. She also invests in and advises early stage, mobile-first startups.

Find Sian on LinkedIn and Twitter, too.

Musical Inspiration For This Episode From Our Playlist

Tom Peters: "Don’t Stop Me Now"

Tom Peters: "Don’t Stop Me Now"

Mar Hicks: “We Belong”

Mar Hicks: “We Belong”