"I Can See Myself in STEM" Ambassador Profile - Tiffany Kelly

Tiffany Kelly

Founder & CEO
Curastory, Brooklyn, NY


Personal statement:

Hi there, my name is Tiffany Kelly and some would consider me a fantasy sports guru. Why? Well, because I’m a sports data scientist. Put me in front of a game with a few stats and watch my mind wander. In basketball, the simple act of dribbling the ball can get broken down into stats like speed, direction, number of touches, etc. These numbers give players and coaches a baseline for improvement and are used in competitive rankings.

Through sports, I bonded with my family growing up. I knew it would be my career path, but I wasn’t sure how until my senior year in high school when I worked with the New Orleans Hornets. Immediately, I noticed -- why were there barely any women? And why were the women only within a certain area? As soon as I started working with the stats guys, I went to so many different parts of the arena only men really had access to as they were making all the decisions. In the car on the way home I looked at my dad and said “I want to change sports for the better, Dad.” He responded, “how sweetie?” And I stated, “by being one of the only women in sports analytics, and maybe the first.”

I was the first woman of color on the sports analytics team at ESPN and only one in the entire Statistics + Information Group. Since leaving, I am now building my own media tech startup within sports + entertainment with some of my closest colleagues to change it for the better.

If you’re the only girl in the room or you feel out of place, stand firm where you are and in what you love to do. You could be the next role model we all look up to.

Biography:

Tiffany Kelly is a sports entrepreneur, data scientist, public speaker, and philanthropist. She is currently the Founder & CEO of Curastory, the first online marketplace connecting content creators to media buyers, and was the Co-Founder of Break the Love, a sports mobile app allowing recreational athletes to find and schedule pick-up games matched to players in their area. Before making her leap into the world of startups, she joined ESPN Stats & Information Group as a Sports Analytics Associate, where she created ESPN’s College Football Fan Happiness Index. She was the first African-American analyst to join the team. Throughout her tenure with the leading sports multimedia company, she became an advocate for harmonizing creativity, human traits, and data science.

When people ask Tiffany Kelly to describe herself, she doesn’t hesitate to say that first and foremost she is a passionate idealist and visionary to her core -- a trait birthed from her parents, the Reverend Dr. Herman O. Kelly, Jr. and Linda M. Kelly. Dr. Kelly, a University educator, philosopher, and theologian, helped raise Tiffany and her older brother Herman O. Kelly, III giving both lessons on the meaning of life and joy while Mrs. Kelly worked as a corporate analyst with a background in computer science and technology.

A product of the Louisiana private educational system, Tiffany Kelly attended an all-girls Catholic, college preparatory school St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge before moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to study Sport & Recreation Management, Statistics, and Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University (NSU). She grew more into her natural ability to lead by creating the first sports organization open to undergraduate students at NSU. Early in her college years, Ms. Kelly decided her true calling was eliminating the inequality and lack of gender and racial diversity within the sports industry, especially decision-makers at the top. She served as an analytics contributor for The Undefeated, a platform exploring the intersection of race, sports, and culture, writing on her own experiences and the experiences of other minorities within sports analytics.

Tiffany Kelly has continued her diversity efforts by inspiring youth and women in STEM to use their gifts to change sports and sports tech for a better future. As a board member of the Sports Analytics Club Program (SACP) and high-profile ambassador of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) – Lyda Hill Philanthropies IF/THEN Initiative, she seeks to further this calling through sports analytics educational programs provided in inner city secondary schooling throughout the country, and mentoring middle school girls in STEM so they can then be the change.

Segment Pitches:

Individual media networks will quickly be the norm in the future instead of publishers.

Today, influential individuals, like athletes, comedians, and other entertainers, want to use their own voice within their own media networks through technology platforms like YouTube and Instagram. At my media tech startup Curastory, we help to give them a voice by eliminating the friction points between monetization and distributing their media network content.  Today’s system is designed for a third party to profit from a creator’s content instead of the creator. So I created Curastory to help the creator own and profit from their material. We connect creators with media buyers like digital marketers and streaming platforms.

We need more women CEOs leading companies because they outperform men.

Female-led companies meet their financial targets 95% of the time, while male-led companies only 65%. We also seem to be better at inspiring belief in employees on the company’s products and services. Even for startups, private technology companies have 35% higher ROI for those led by women and only 12% for men.


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