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Getting polished at the workplace

Power Pitch

Finding time to get everything done during a 40-hour work week can be a struggle. For women, those time constraints can make beauty appointments hard to keep. That’s why Katina Mountanos and Liz Whitman started Manicube.

“[Our mission] is to make the lives of working women easier,” Mountanos said.

See Katina Mountanos and Liz Whitman pitch their start-up Manicube to “Power Pitch” panelists Menlo Ventures managing director Sonja Hoel Perkins, Minx Nails CEO Janice Jordan, and Galvanize Ventures Kate Shillo. CNBC viewers also got a chance to vote during the segment. Manicube's Pitch received 21,000 votes. Click the video above to see the results!

After graduating from Harvard Business School, Mountanos and Whitman entered the financial services industry. They noticed that services for their male colleagues, such as shoe shining and hair barbers, were readily available at the office, however, there were no services for women.  

Source: Manicube

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“We want to make it easier for women to manage their lives while enjoying the challenges of work. And we want them to look good doing it,” Mountanos said.

Nailing down a business model

In 2012, Whitman and Mountanos left their jobs and entered the $7.47 billion nail services industry with their start-up Manicube.  They have more than 100 corporate clients to date and offer their services in New York, Boston and Chicago.  The start-up will be launching in San Francisco this September.  

Customers go online to the Manicube website, where they can book and pay for appointments. Manicube then sends its manicurists to corporate clients who can choose from a menu of services, priced from $12-$20. They even offer services for men.  

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Manicube customers can book appointments online

During the segment, “Power Pitch” panelist and Menlo Ventures partner Sonja Hoel Perkins asked how the company makes money.

“Our business model is essentially the economics of a nails salon without the largest fixed cost, which is real estate,” said Whitman. “Our customer metrics are extremely strong as well, we’re seeing over 75 percent repeat rates at legacy client sites and a third of our customer base is getting 25 manicures or more per year.”

Manicube plans to launch a mobile app in the future as well as experiment with other services.  
So far the company has raised $5.9 million from investors including Bain Capital Ventures and F Cubed.

See Katina Mountanos and Liz Whitman power pitch their start-up to host CNBC Mandy Drury and panelists Menlo Ventures managing director Sonja Hoel Perkins, Minx Nails CEO Janice Jordan and Galvanize Ventures Kate Shillo.

--Additional reporting by Joanna Weinstein and Kelly Lin
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