IMPROV YOUR TEAM
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.
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.
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
Agile Product Development
Every engagement is unique and customized to your team.
Contact us to learn more and hire us to work with you.
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.
Our methodology develops these core leadership and team skills...
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!
ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP at Fordham University
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.
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
Sign up to hear about open trainings and get all sorts of improv tips, tricks for business and life