Honoree Headshot

Thomas Colaiezzi

President and CEO
LifeBrand

Location: West Chester, PA
Founded: 2018
Industry: Tech | Social Media Management

Thomas J. Colaiezzi’s startup LifeBrand nearly folded, and then it thrived.

Two years ago, LifeBrand was in the process of raising a $1 million seed round just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and LifeBrand nearly had to abandon the business because its initial investors had to back out at the last minute as a result of stock market losses. Colaiezzi literally lost $1 million overnight. That September, Kevin O’Leary of “Shark Tank” picked LifeBrand as the winner of a pitch competition, and his endorsement brought with it an influx of new investor interest and reinvigorated the team to build on their newfound momentum.

LifeBrand is a startup that develops technology to detect and remove harmful content from users’ social media pages. With patent-pending technology, LifeBrand performs social media checks to protect the privacy and rights of employees and employers.

During his time as an executive in the fitness industry, Colaiezzi realized that social media was too important to overlook during the hiring process, and he was frustrated when he was unable to find a compliant solution that gets users’ consent and protects both employees and employers in the process. He sought to create a solution of his own. In 2018, he took this idea and his life’s savings to use as the foundation for a new technology startup, abandoning a stable, well-paying job to follow his dream of building something of his own.

In 2021, LifeBrand was awarded Philadelphia’s Startup of the Year by Technical.ly. Colaiezzi was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 Greater Philadelphia Award finalist. The HEADstrong Foundation, a Philadelphia-area nonprofit that improves lives affected by cancer, awarded Colaiezzi the 2021 Spirit Award for his work supporting philanthropy and championing its mission.

LifeBrand has collaborated with a number of investors and advisors, including professional athlete brand ambassadors like DeVonta Smith, collegiate brand ambassador Haley Jones and professional sports teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia 76ers.

Every LifeBrand employee has equity in the company, regardless of their position. In 2021, LifeBrand was named one of the Best Places to Work in the Greater Philadelphia Area by the Philadelphia Business Journal, “an accolade that T.J. holds above others and aims to achieve annually,” Colaiezzi’s team said.

“I will continue to surround myself with great talented people and build meaningful solutions and innovative products,” Colaiezzi said. “My biggest goal isn’t just for the success of LifeBrand, it’s for the success of the people who work with me to be seen as leaders in their fields who have even better reputations for being the best at what they do because of what we accomplished together at LifeBrand.”

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Honoree fun fact

As a young man, he was inspired by his father, a decorated Vietnam War Veteran, and his maternal grandfather, a Philadelphia police officer who was killed in the line of duty, to serve others and protect his community. TJ spent many years as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician where he didn't hesitate to put his life on the line to save the lives of others in need.

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