Leading creative teams through uncharted territories.
Laate has designed products, services, and experiences within a range of unique settings – from innovation labs within large 100-year-old corporations to new startups in new industries. He's worked with a wide assortment of renowned brands, including Steelcase, Mayo Clinic, and NextFab.
During his time with Steelcase – the leader in the contract furniture industry – Laate co-led the development of three businesses – Workspring, MyTurnstone, and 654 Croswell. The work at Steelcase spanned all aspects of the design thinking process, from developing an initial business hypothesis to bringing new spaces, services, and products to market.
In 2010, Laate launched an agile product development company called Lollygig which experienced its first commercial success with an iPad app called BoomMaster just weeks after the launch of Apple’s original iPad. Lollygig then introduced several Apple accessories starting with the introduction of NapoleonGlove, a soft case for the iPad, followed by a crowdfunded product called Hopscotch Wall & Car Mount in 2014.
In 2015, Laate became the Director of Marketing at NextFab – Philly's premier makerspace network. He rebuilt the marketing department then led the company’s rebranding efforts, the development of the company’s website, and the design & launch of NextFab’s third location – a 10,000 sq. ft. space in Wilmington, Delaware.
Most recently, Laate joined Thoughtfull Design – an international experience design consultancy with locations in New Zealand, Michigan, and now New Jersey.
Laate holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an Masters in Design from the Institute of Design at IIT.
Over time, Laate has discovered:
“While it’s fun to uncover a market opportunity, it’s even more enjoyable to develop a vision that people can experience immediately. I’ve made prototypes of all kinds – from physical products to interactive prototypes to new spaces. But more than anything, I’ve found that I love working with creative teams who are exploring uncharted waters.”