It was a winning pitch presented at Wharton that set the wheels in motion for Expect. The idea for my pre- and postnatal fitness startup first came to me about a decade ago, while I was still working at MTV. I’d experienced countless memorable moments at the network, from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s first performance together when I was a producer on Total Request Live to when Miley Cyrus catapulted “twerking” to 2013’s top searches while I was head creative for the VMAs. I later made the switch to strategy and development, pitching shows, podcasts, branding, and more.

While my schedule was all-consuming, I somehow found time for fitness. I considered myself a gym enthusiast and at one time was a member of five gyms simultaneously. It was because of those experiences that I first envisioned Expect as a gym for expectant mothers. I’d found that even the best gyms didn’t offer adequately customized workouts for them but instead simply tried to modify movements during classes that were open to everyone. I knew there had to be a better way to meet pregnancy needs, but I didn’t know the first thing about operating a gym. So the idea sat for a bit until one day, it hit me: I didn’t know how to run a gym, but I certainly knew how to create content. Expect would be an app with video workouts for women throughout their pregnancies, and each workout would be approved by ob-gyns.

About a year later, in 2019, I returned to Wharton — where I had earned my undergraduate degree — and enrolled in a virtual Wharton Executive Education course called the Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program. Over three months, I developed a business pitch in an environment that held me accountable in ways I simply hadn’t been to myself. At the end of the course, I pitched Expect to a panel of professors and venture capitalists and walked away with $10,000 in funding. It was also then that co-founder Joseph Pacheco C12, whom I met through the Penn Club of New York, became involved.

From there, things moved quickly. Among other resources, I took another Executive Education course called Scaling a Business: How to Build a Unicorn. A Coursera course during the pandemic—Leading the Life You Want, from Wharton management professor Stewart Friedman — also brought me closer to pursuing Expect full-time.

I officially left MTV in late 2022, after more than two decades. Since then, Expect has gained additional support from organizations such as McKinsey, Techstars, and Tiger Global Impact Ventures. We are further expanding our offerings, clients, and much more this year as we continue to build toward becoming the number one maternal fitness brand in the world.


Published as “MTV to Maternal Health” in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of Wharton Magazine.