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The Fourth Effect with Katrin de Haen feature #130 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #130: The Fourth Effect presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on The Fourth Effect

Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview The Fourth Effect and Co-Founder, Katrin de Haen.

The Fourth Effect is an AI-powered, community driven networking and matchmaking site for startups ready to scale by leveraging and diversifying their advisors, board directors and investors. 

The Fourth Effect’s mission is to close the gender power, wealth, and funding gap by diversifying boardrooms and cap tables. It is the only board marketplace focused on early stage company board and board-adjacent opportunities, so women can effectively break into the board candidate pipeline. They are breaking the systemic barriers that contribute to the inequities in the startup ecosystem and company boardrooms.

The Fourth Effect online community and on-demand talent marketplace that has a Board Seat Exchange, Private Investment Club, Job Board and Membership Community. The Fourth Effect’s membership currently includes over 800 companies, 2,000+ board-ready women and 125+ angels, LPs and women-led funds.

When did the company begin?

Soft launched in May 2019.

Story of how it was created?

My Co-founder, Breen Sullivan, is the founder of The Fourth Effect and it was really her brainchild. Previously she was a general counsel at three different high-growth tech startups and often lead their board meetings. At each one she looked around the room and saw unfilled seats or all white men around the table which made her question - how do I get onto a board? How do I get a board seat? And how could we incentivize companies to actually build out their boards with diverse candidates?

She started asking her colleagues if they too would be interested in being on a board to which she got an overwhelming yes!  I, on the other hand, was previously a founder. Most recently I had invented a beauty product that I brought to market internationally. My company became pretty successful. We were featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and in many of the major magazines. We really had a fun, popular product. But unfortunately, with popularity come the knock-offs. They started flooding the market. Even though I had gone to a law firm to protect my IP, I just wasn't able to.They came fast and furious and were landing at my cost. I had to wind down that company but as I was doing that, I was thinking about what my next move would be. I really loved being a founder and I had learned so much.

A friend and general counsel then introduced me to Breen because she knew Breen was working on something interesting and that I might want to get involved. When I met Breen, I told her my story and she started giving me great advice. From the founder perspective, lightbulbs went off for me. If I had had somebody like her as an advisor, it would have really helped me with my company and saved me a ton of money.

Conversely, from her side, she realized the value she could bring to a founder, especially at an early-stage startup she could really help scale, and what that opportunity might offer her. She knew she could be invaluable to their success but this kind of opportunity would also help start her board career. She could include it on her resume and it would make her more appealing as a board candidate and she could earn equity along the way. Together we realized we are a marketplace and so we decided to build it.

Meaning behind the name?

Breen had the name picked out when I met her. It was originally The Fourth Floor. Fourth comes from when she hit her 40s and finally understood how the system is run and rigged. The Fourth Floor was a nod to that vantage point when you see how far you've come and how far there still is to go. Last year we rebranded to The Fourth Effect because we wanted to allude to the Butterfly Effect and capture the idea of creating these little ripples of diversity that will someday grow into a hurricane effect that will bring about equality in this innovation ecosystem and beyond.

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Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
What separates your company from competition?

Our main goal is to break women into the board candidate pipeline. We are doing that by matching them to startups as advisors, directors and investors. We're really connecting the dots between investing and board seats. There are a lot of people and companies solving the problem in silos, connecting women to board seats and founders to investors but our focus is broader and bigger and we are taking a holistic approach by creating an ecosystem. We're giving women agency and opportunity to actively search for opportunities and build wealth.

Define the strengths of the company?

Board seats are exchanged through networking. Most people's networks are fairly insular which leads to everyone looking the same on boards. What we're doing is giving our community opportunities to start relationships early that we hope will grow as the companies grow. Relationships are built on a continuum. 

Startups might join us looking for a mentor sponsor, but once they have built a trusted relationship and the company grows, the relationship could grow into an advisory role or even a board director role. Women tend to save money and then become philanthropic, and then join non-profit boards. What we're hoping is that we are presenting them with an alternative where they can grow their career, earn equity and have impact.

What have been the biggest challenges?

Educating startup founders on the value of building out both their boards early, especially their advisory board. Initially we targeted seed stage startups but we soon met so many incredible founders who are really successful today because they did so, so we decided to open it up and invite all startups to join us. Then the challenge became, how to educate them and enticing them to join us so that they could find the right candidates. 

Startups are the lifeblood of our company and their board opportunities are what drive our marketplace. We need them but our resources would be invaluable to them.

Reflect on a goal you set and how it made you feel to accomplish it?

In 2022, our goal was to partner with a big corporate enterprise and we did it. We got our first fellowship program up and running with a big bank. It was incredible because the Fellowship underwrote 50 BIPOC led startups and 120 candidate women to join us. It was a big program but what felt even better was the ROI we were able to show our partner. Their President showcased the success on LinkedIn and that was incredible validation. And then hearing from the founders the successes they experienced brought us so much joy.

Goals for upcoming year + Next phase of the company?

We're focused on growth and because it is an ecosystem with a marketplace, we need to grow all sides at the same time. We are fundraising and hope to close the round this Fall. Investment will allow us to make key hires and make even more improvements to our product.

Resources for companies?

I would really recommend going to your local governments. Each state has different acronyms for their programs, but we partner with these programs. The various agencies always tell us they are there to help, they want to help. I don't think enough founders understand or know about these resources. Founders can call them and tell them what their business is and what they're looking to do and somebody is there to help them.

They will share all the available resources within that state or city and those might include space, grants, funding or accelerators. These resources could be game changing for startups.

How have you grown as a leader?

It is definitely not an easy path. If anyone ever says it’s easy, I’m sure they are lying. But it’s never boring and sometimes it’s absolutely thrilling. The highs are really high but the lows can feel endless. You have to believe in what you’re doing. One of the reasons why I was ok closing down my last company was because my heart really wasn’t in it anymore. I was what they call a “Mercenary” founder. But now at The Fourth Effect, I am very much a “Missionary” founder as I care deeply about the mission and it drives me everyday.

What do you need to work on as a leader?

For my own professional and personal growth I really need to work on my public speaking. I've never enjoyed it. I've never been great at it. I really have to push myself all the time. We're getting asked more and more to do speaking appearances and thankfully my co-founder is amazing at it. But I can't put all that burden on her all the time. I know there is a lot of value to having us both out there speaking about our company. It isn't easy, but I have to continue to push myself and get better.

What aspect of entrepreneurship do you appreciate the most?

I love ideating, problem solving and networking. I specifically love what we’re building with The Fourth Effect, because I get to meet new entrepreneurs every day. It's so exciting. The companies they are building are mind blowing and I want to help them all.

It's also particularly inspiring to work with underrepresented founders who are at such a disadvantage. We want to make sure they have the network and support to be successful. 

Share a mistake and what you learned from that experience?

I learned an important lesson from one of my bosses at an early job in my career. He made sure that we all knew that everybody makes mistakes and it’s not about punishing that person but learning from those mistakes. He made us feel comfortable about going to him when we did make a mistake. I want our team to feel the same way. I don't want a culture of blame.

When was the first moment you felt like you could breathe?

When we tested out our thesis with a very rudimentary, stagnant  marketplace. There was no functionality. It was purely a list which was hard to use because you couldn’t search or filter.  We just asked our community -  if you'd like a board seat, send us your bio and headshot. And if you're a startup and you're interested in meeting advisors, give us your company information.

We were flooded! That was the validation we needed to go ahead. And soon thereafter, we started getting emails from people praising it and giving us feedback. That early validation showed us we were on the right track and just had to see it through

Was there a moment where you doubted the fate of your company?

Let's just say building a digital platform when you're not technical people is extremely hard. There were quite a few times when we started to doubt that we could actually do it. We've used three different platforms, and our most current one is AI-powered. It's a sensational platform but it's been extremely challenging. We've had to learn along the way but we have!

Do you have a moment that brings you the most joy?

I was thinking about this question and I think my answer is - every time I go out to events and meet people who tell me how The Fourth Effect has helped them. Sometimes I feel like a celebrity because they’re finding me to tell me their stories. It really makes me feel like, wow, I am accomplishing what I want. People are getting what we want them to get out of the experience. It truly brings me so much joy because what we’re working on is working.

If you had a magic wand what would you change about your industry?

I would point the wand at investors and ask them why, if the data shows that companies are more profitable with diverse boards and leadership, then why are they not asking their funds or portfolio companies to bring on more diverse talent. Their returns would be higher. Their investments would do better. We can try to push companies to diversify but it would be much more effective coming from the investors.

Piece of Advice?

I would tell everyone to talk to as many people as possible and ask lots of questions. You never know what you can learn from somebody and everyone has something to offer. Some of the most magical moments happen through unexpected connections.

Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
In Closing

KLS wants to thank The Fourth Effect and Co-Founder, Katrin de Haen for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!

Together Talks with The Fourth Effect feature #130 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Business Resources!

Look at our new page HERE designed to provide excellent opportunities that may be of interest to you. These are a compilation from our chats within our "Together Talks". If you have any suggestions please let us know as we would love to provide more valuable insight to our community!

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with The Fourth Effect feature #130

*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!

Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.

Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.


You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.

Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.

Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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