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Meet the Founder: The Cru’s Tiffany Dufu Wants to Build Women a Support System

Bumble launched Bumble Fund in 2018 with a mission to build a bigger table in the world of business, investing in seed- and early-stage companies and focusing primarily on those founded and led by women of color and folks from underrepresented groups. 

The latest company to join Bumble Fund’s portfolio is The Cru, a peer coaching service for women’s professional and personal growth. Meet The Cru’s founder, Tiffany Dufu, a lifelong champion for the advancement of women and girls, a bestselling author, and now the CEO of a growing startup.

You might call it an Aha! moment or refer to the eureka effect, but for Tiffany Dufu, a sudden bolt of genius from the clear blue is a “Tiffany’s Epiphany,” and she had a life-changing one in early 2018. 

Dufu, then an executive at millennial women’s network Levo League, was having coffee with another professional woman – and extolling the virtues of building “her crew,” as she put it: a group of mutually supportive people helping you achieve your goals.

“She really pushed back,” Dufu remembered in a recent interview on The Rosie Report, the podcast produced by We Are Rosie, a network of independent, on-demand marketing experts. “And then she proceeded to explain the workflow to me.” 

That ‘workflow’ involved in building a network, for this particular woman, would include figuring out how to access conferences and cocktail parties as well as looking after three kids and an ailing parent on top of a busy career. 

Then came “Tiffany’s Epiphany,” as she told The Rosie Report: Rather than preach the benefits of finding a crew, Dufu thought, she should probably do the finding herself. 

Now, just over two years later, The Cru is going strong — and thriving despite COVID-19 thanks to the ease at which its members can interface digitally, over Zoom. It works like this: A new member is matched with seven other professional women by an algorithm, its results reviewed by a member of Dufu’s team. 

These groups of eight hail from diverse industries and are matched based on values, personality, and demographics to form a ‘Cru’ that holds regular, structured gatherings. You and your ‘Cru’ members act as a mutual support system as each of you moves towards your goals.

“They can be professional intentions, like getting a promotion or a raise,” Dufu told The Rosie Report. “They can be personal intentions, like running a 5K, [or] spending more time with your family. But at the beginning of your journey, you decide what those are.”

To learn more about The Cru and its founder Tiffany Dufu, listen to her full interview with We Are Rosie founder Stephanie Nadi Olson here.