• About Improve

    We solve some of the greatest business challenges...

    ...using improv comedy & other research-backed techniques


    Improve helps companies improve their people, teams, and business growth using a unique methodology combining improv comedy, business frameworks, behavioral psychology, and other research-backed techniques, for an effective and fun experience!


    Improve was created by Mary Lemmer, an entrepreneur, recovering venture capitalist, and improv comedian. Mary created the IMPROVE methodology as a way to help companies innovate and solve business challenges, in a fun, engaging, and effective way. Since, we have worked with some of the most impactful companies and created a more effective and fun method for solving complex business problems.


  • About Mary

    Mary Lemmer has been helping companies start and grow for over 15 years. She has worked with tens of thousands of leaders and thousands of companies on strategy, growth, leadership development, and team communication. She gave the TED talk “How improv can improve your leadership and life”.


    She developed the IMPROVE methodology over the course of a decade as an entrepreneur, investor, and training as an improv comedian at The Second City in Chicago, The Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC, among other improv theatres. She created the IMPROVE methodology combining improv comedy and other research-backed techniques to improve business challenges, team effectiveness, and leadership skills and has worked with entrepreneurs and small startups to Fortune 500 companies and top universities, including Lyft, KPMG, TED, the University of Michigan, Fordham University, Square, Patreon, TechStars, CBSi, R/GA, Silicon Valley Bank, 500 Startups, among others.


    Mary is the author of Straight From the Investor's Mouth: 111 Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs, started her first company, Iorio Gelato, at age 14, did early-stage VC, and was an investor in and later a director at a Silicon Valley unicorn.


    Mary is a graduate of The University of Michigan. She is the creator and host of Startup Late Night, a late-night comedy show featuring business leader guests, and has performed improv and comedy all over the country, including at Gilda Radner’s Laughfest, The Punch Line in San Francisco, and the Lady Laughs Comedy Festival.

    Read more about Mary and her improv story here.



  • Our Methodology

    Our methodology was created by Mary, inspired by her work as an entrepreneur, venture capital investor, working with fast-growing and multi-billion dollar companies, and training at famous improv theaters including The Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade.


    Our methodology combines improv comedy, business frameworks such as customer discovery, nonviolent communication, behavioral psychology, and other research-backed and performance techniques.


    We use this methodology to improve some of the most critical business challenges, including --



    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


    Team Effectiveness & Culture

    Sales & Fundraising

    Performance Feedback


    Agile Product Development

    Reducing Harassment & Discrimination
    We work with leaders and teams that want to improve, including entrepreneurs and accelerators, fast-growing startup teams, executive teams, management, corporate teams, nonprofits, and top universities. Our methodology has helped entrepreneurs improve their pitch, young managers improve their leadership skills, companies address communication challenges, companies mitigate potential lawsuits, companies improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, teams bring people together to build trust, leaders to create positive business culture,
    and more!


    Every engagement is unique and customized to your team.


    Contact us to learn more and hire us to work with you.

  • Open Trainings

    Here are some of our open enrollment trainings.

    Don't see something happening in your city?

    Contact us to find out when we're coming to a city near you!

    Improve Entrepreneurial Leadership in NYC

    Improve Entrepreneurial Leadership

    This class is ideal for individuals who want to develop their entrepreneurial leadership skills and want to learn tools and methodologies they can use for themselves and to develop leaders in their teams, companies, and lives.


    The class runs for 1 hour, on Thursday, November 21, from 4:00-5:00 pm in the Flatiron District in NYC.


    Click here for more information and to register

  • Core Skills

    Our methodology develops these core leadership and team skills...


    Decision Making

    Emotional Intelligence

    Handling Uncertainty

    Creativity, Empathy



    Active Listening


    Difficult Conversations

    Team Effectiveness


    Team Building

    Quick Thinking


  • Our Clients

    We have worked with individual leaders, fast-growing startups, some of the top accelerators in the world, Fortune 500 companies, and top universities

  • How Improv Can Improve Your Leadership and Life

    In business and life, your ability to adapt to change, build trust, communicate clearly, and handle uncertainty are essential skills to succeed. In this talk, entrepreneur Mary Lemmer contends that there is no 'right way' to start a company and shares tried and true improv lessons that can also be applied to leadership and life.

    Improve ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP at 500 Startups

    We led an improv session for companies invested in by

    500 Startups, a leading global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator.

    Improve ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP at the University of Michigan

    With hundreds of University of Michigan students we led an Improv 4 Entrepreneurs session with the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering. This session was one of the most popular sessions all semester!



    We led an improv session for entrepreneurs in the Fordham Foundry program.


    TEAM EFFECTIVENESS at Silicon Valley Bank

    We led an improv session for a team at SVB, creating a space for self expression and team bonding.

  • Testimonials

    Your workshop was honestly one of the best things I ever did for myself while living in San Francisco

    - Rebecca Chaika, Product Designer, SoulCycle

    Mary ran an amazing Improv session for our whole company as part of an offsite, engineers, sales and support and the team loved it.

    Whilst being hilariously funny, it also forced us to operate outside our comfort zones, and get us to know each other's personalities far better. We operate a distributed team across four countries, so this was a great way to bring everyone closer, make us think on our feet and have a bit of fun!

    — Simon Turner, President & Co-Founder of Myagi

    Want to finesse your pitch and present with clarity and confidence? Then take Mary’s I4E. Grounded in the art of improv, I4E ensures participants stretch and pivot their pitches, seize opportunities to present with confidence, while all the while, having fun.

    — Kelly Hoey, Author of Build Your Dream Network, podcast guest host & speaker, Co-Founder of the Women In Mobile Accelerator

    For the second year in a row, Mary's Improv4 Workshop was a huge success at our accelerator program. Our founders and interns alike loved the captivating session. We laughed, fell down, and grew more comfortable with each other and public speaking. I would recommend her workshop for startups, corporations and everyone in between. It facilitates team cohesive in a way that really works while also providing hours full of laughter.

    — Alison Todak, Managing Director of Cahoots and former Director at Desai Accelerator at the University of Michigan

    Mary Lemmer's improv workshop is the ideal environment to learn how to communicate more effectively. Imagine becoming a better communicator and learning the nuances of what it takes to be a better communicator in a fun and entertaining environment. If you want to become a top-notch communicator, you have to take this workshop.

    — Arun Dawit, Co-Founder of Urban Logiq (Batch 20 at 500 Startups)

    Mary has successfully translated Improv Theater to a business context … it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s compelling and everyone she teaches comes away as a better, more confident, more focused presenter.

    — Rich Sheridan, Founder & CEO, Menlo Innovations, and Author of Joy, Inc

    Improv4 was an absolute blast! I came in not sure exactly what to expect, and left her fantastic workshop with personalized feedback and a better pitch for my company. Anyone would benefit from an Improv4 workshop: founders, startup employees, corporate professionals. I'd join another class facilitated by Mary in a heartbeat!

    — Leslie Zaikis, Marketing and Strategy Consultant

    Read more testimonials and recommendations online here.

  • Join


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  • Contact Us

    Contact us to book a workshop or simply say "hi".

    Just say yes, and...

  • Check out some of the improv workshops we've done...