I’m Kelly Smith, a digital strategist, product developer, designer and angel investor.  Currently I'm the Vice President, International Products at Starbucks Coffee Company.  Previously, I was a founder/designer of five venture-backed start-ups.  I founded and continue to operate a seed-stage investment company.  I develop and lead digital organizations that develop thoughtful, well-designed products that improve life, work and play. I prefer to lead by example and am hands-on at every phase from design to development. I strive to take an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving and place the customer experience first and foremost which often gives rise to entirely new businesses.


My background is typically entrepreneurial. However, this experience is currently serving me well as the VP Digital, Starbucks China and I am based in Shanghai. I manage the consumer-facing digital scope for Starbucks China to include web, mobile, social and digital commerce.  As the first digital team member, I recruited a talented group of individuals who work cross-functionally towards the digitization of My Starbucks Rewards, Starbucks gift-cards and digital payments in China.  Together, we also developed one of the most popular iOS and Android brand apps in the country.


COORDINATES: 31°12′N 121°30′E  
POPULATION: 24,256,800  


Digital technology is no longer just another tool in the IT, marketing, sales or service toolbox to engage, inspire and attract customers. There could be 100 billion connected devices expected by 2025, leading towards a trillion sensor ecosystem. 1 billion digital natives are expected to join the workforce over the next 7 years. In a hyper-connected era of mobile, social, cloud, big data, and the Internet of Things, future business models will depend on the availability of more data flowing through more systems and being accessed and used by more people.

I help businesses successfully navigate through this digital business disruption with primary focus on core product innovation, user experience, and evolution of existing assets and intellectual property to enable positive goal-directed digital transformation.


Currently: Starbucks 

Vice President, International Products

The first of an entirely new team to develop new application platforms to standardize Starbucks' mobile experiences in foreign markets.  Includes mobile SDK's, push and messaging systems, web, commerce, platform API's and more.

Starbucks China

Vice President, Digital

Established the core digital team in China to design, develop and launch the systems to support world-class consumer experiences.  Led a team to launch digital payments, digital loyalty and one of most the most popular iOS & Android brand apps in China.

Curious Office

Seed-stage investment & incubator

Founded this seed-stage investment and incubation company based in Seattle Washington.  We currently have 15 active investments and have had six exits.


Founder: Instant websites from your iPhone

Founded Zapd as "the original iOS website builder," enabling users to create websites without the need for design experience or coding know-how. Was an Apple Editor's Staff Pick.  Company was acquired.


Founder: Marketplace for graphic design templates

Founded the first marketplace for buying and selling professional graphic design templates. Everything from business cards, letterhead, brochures and more. Company was acquired by CafePress.


YCombinator: Market for mobile designers

Co-founded this mobile graphic designer marketplace. Backed by Y Combinator, 500 Startups and SV Angel.


Co-founder: Mobile app for turning any activity into a global game

Co-founded this mobile app that allowed users to turn any activity into a distributed competition (time to ski a certain run or bike a certain route). Company was acquired by Betaworks in NYC.

Siemens Nokia

Vice President: Global communications company

VP Product Marketing at leading IPTV software company. Myrio develops middleware that powers IP-based television services.  Led efforts to drive developer ecosystem allowing set-top box vendors to deploy IPTV and interactive applications.


Vice President: Business Development

VP Business Development. thePlatform is a leading developer of content management and publishing systems for audio and video. Company was sold to Comcast and operates as a subsidiary.


Founder, Cloud Video Management

Founded one of the earliest distributors of streaming video content. Aggregated media from producers for Internet usage. Sold to thePlatform (a Comcast company).


Pioneers of online audio/video streaming

RealNetworks is the online pioneer in digital audio, video and music delivery. Served as Marketing Director, Europe based in the United Kingdom. Company went public in 1999.

Spry/America Online

Original developers of the commercial web browser

Spry developed Internet in a Box. It was the first commercial product based on the original Mosaic browser source code. It was one of the most common methods of getting on the Internet in 1994. Company was acquired by CompuServe/AOL.