Startups | Projects that were started in B-School

Hi everyone,

It has been a while since my last post. The semester is almost over and as I reflect on the last two years, I realize how much work we have put into it. Today I wanted to highlight 6 startups and projects that were started by my peers while in business school.

Lenore Champagne Beirne and Ronica Reddick met at Stern and they are both currently working on a project called the Little Bright Notebook. It is a project design tool for creators and innovators. They combined their experience in coaching, entrepreneurship, and creative work to build a notebook that helps you plan for your next big idea.

Little Bright

Leah Shisha and Isha Vij also met at Stern, and they decided to launch Caper: a company that plans and organizes bachelorette parties. They both realized that there was an opportunity to take the stress out of the planning and to create an amazing experience for the bride-to-be and her friends.


Chris Shaw has decided to use his previous military experience to start an innovative leadership program, called CORE leader. His company offers different team building and leadership activities that can be tailored for your team.

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Sarah Manning started Colabas, an ecommerce store. She started it in her ‘Social Problem Based Entrepreneurship class’, where she got a chance to visit India and to conduct on the ground market research. Her company curates and sells socially conscious jewelry, accessories, and décor products handmade in India. Some of the proceeds are also donated to charitable organizations.

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Juan Sebastian Cadavid started Grou (sounds like Grow), a marketplace for farmers in Latin America. The marketplace aggregates products from multiple farmers in order to provide the quantities that large buyers need. At the same time, it allows smallholder farmers to identify opportunities to sell their crops at fair prices.

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Finally, Perryne Vyas Desai started TujaTravel, a travel service company. Her company helps individuals and groups organize their trips by helping them build their travel package. So far, Tuja Travel has organized trips in Tanzania, Costa Rica, Fiji, and Spain among others.

Tuja Travel

I hope you take a few minutes to check them out! I will be back soon with a personal post reflecting on these last 2 years.

Until next time,



*Disclaimer: All the pictures on this post belong to the respective businesses.

The Nerd in Me

‘Successful entrepreneurship is boring by design’- Professor Glenn Okun, Stern Professor of the year.

Entrepreneurship is a word heard often in the corridors of Business Schools. There are certain things about entrepreneurship that can only be learned through experience. However, there are many important tactics, strategies and disciplines that a prospective entrepreneur can learn in the classroom.

Professor Glenn Okun is a Clinical Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and teaches courses in entrepreneurship, private equity and venture capital. He has achieved much success by investing in early and later stage financing of private companies in various industries. He was recently awarded with the Stern Professor of the Year, 2013.

I am delighted to be taking his ‘Managing growing companies’ class this semester. I highly recommend this class to anyone who dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. A seasoned practitioner, Professor Okun uses his years of experience to take class discussions far beyond the confines of textbooks. He shares his business strategies and entrepreneurial wisdom with the class and calls them his ‘McNuggets’.

Another highly celebrated professor at Stern is Professor Aswath Damodaran. CNN Money recently rated him amongst the top 10 b-school professors globally. I am taking his Corporate Finance course this semester. Professor Damodaran does justice to all of the hype that surrounds him. I find his passion for the course contagious. He claims that his aim in life is to become the Lady Gaga of finance and wants over a million followers on Twitter. His twitter handle is @AswathDamodaran.

The list of highly accomplished professors at Stern is endless. I will try to talk about a few more in future posts.

Until next time,


Entrepreneurship at Stern Just Got Even More Awesome

Hello friends,

As my classmates and friends returned from their spring break trips in Costa Rica, South Africa and many other amazing places with great stories and even better tans I’ll admit I was definitely a tiny bit jealous. I spent most of spring break in the empty study rooms here at Stern working diligently with my business partner on our start-up [you can read more about that here]. At the end of the week we headed off to exotic Dallas, Texas for Dallas market week to attend some fashion trade shows and to meet with brands and suppliers to begin developing relationships and figuring out how the wholesale buying process works.

Despite the fact that I was not sitting on a beach somewhere, it was pretty awesome to have a week completely free of classes and other school distractions to work on my business and I am so proud of the progress we were able to make! Now that graduation is becoming more of a reality (less than two months, ahhhhh!) I have begun to think about life after NYU as an aspiring entrepreneur and I will admit it is both equally exciting and terrifying. Resources for entrepreneurs here at Stern continue to get better and better right before my very eyes and are definitely helping to make the transition a little less stressful. Aside from the annual Berkley Center$200K Entrepreneurs Challenge which you may have heard of, we have just announced a very exciting new program, the NYU Launch Pad!

The Launch Pad, NYU’s own version of a start-up incubator, is a 10 week summer program for graduating NYU and NYU-Poly student teams to accelerate their new ventures forward. Through a combination of workshops, speaker series, and mentorship sessions, startup founders will learn lean startup principles to guide the development of their business models and prototypes, have access to a co-working space at NYU-Poly’s Varick Street Incubator, establish connections with members of the NYC startup community, and Showcase their startup to potential collaborators, investors, and partners at a capstone showcase. You can read more details about this new program here. This is definitely a step in the right direction for all of NYU’s aspiring entrepreneurs and I can’t wait to see what fantastic companies emerge!

Until next time,


Spring Break!

Hello friends,

Just one more day stands between me and a week off for Spring Break! It seems like this semester is literally FLYING by, how is it Spring Break already? I have some classes coming to an end in just two weeks and graduation is looming just around the corner. Two years is just not long enough!

I am pretty excited for my Spring Break plans this year. Unlike some of my other classmates who are jetting off to exotic locations like South Africa and Cost Rica, I am spending my break here in NYC working with my partner on the business we are starting-up. We are working on building an e-commerce retailer dedicated to the modern career girl, complete with styling and career advice. (You can check out the beginning of our site here It will be great to have a full week of uninterrupted time for us to really make some progress and get down to business as we have quite a bit of work ahead of us before we are ready to launch! Although I will be taking a 2 day mini break to Miami, FL to get in some sunshine and hang out at Ultra Music Festival for the weekend first. Not too shabby.

One of the awesome parts about Stern is the club treks that take place over Spring Break. All of the clubs organize trips to different destinations around the world from Morocco to Brazil to Israel. Last year I joined the Emerging Markets Association(EMA) on the Peru trek which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The trip was unbelievable from white water rafting and mountain biking in Cuzco, to hiking the rain forest to the breathtaking sites of Machu Picchu. This year the EMA is heading to Vietnam and Cambodia and I am sure everyone going is in for a fabulous adventure.

Until next time!



Doing Business in New York

Last week I got involved in a consulting project sponsored by the Entrepreneurs exchange club. It is a ten week long project with a solar industry focused financial advisory firm in the city. This was an opportunity for me to familiarize myself with the start-up culture in New York City. Moreover, I have always been interested in alternative energy and I wanted to understand the complexities involved in financing solar projects.

The experience so far has been inspiring. The incubator my client operates out of has a motley mix of some of the most brilliant minds in the city. During my first few visits I got to meet some of the other start-ups and learn about their ventures.

The project itself is off to a good start. Even though the five of us have never worked together in a team before, I was amazed at how productive we were right from day one. Another example of high ‘EQ’ that Sternies are known for. Our team lead is a part time MBA student. I strongly believe that our part-time network is one of the biggest assets that Stern has. Most of the part-time students work for firms that full time students target for internships or full time jobs. Every week Stern hosts ‘beer blast’, one of the many opportunities for the two communities to network.

A bunch of us went to Vermont this past weekend. I tumbled down the slopes a few times before I found my balance on skis. While I was at it, I built some lifelong friendships. I am hoping to do the same over Spring Break next week. For real time updates from the India Trek look for tweets with #SABAStrek.

Until next time,


Round 2

It’s the start of my second semester and it’s hard to believe I’m back after a roughly six week hiatus. I enjoyed the long break and the opportunity to travel and reflect on my first semester. At the same time, I’m excited for what’s to come during this week alone. This Friday is the Stern Women in Business Conference. I attended this conference last year when I interviewed and it was a turning point for me in the decision process. I met so many bright, friendly, and enthusiastic women, I was convinced that Stern was the place for me. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store!

In addition, I will begin my Stern Consulting Corps project. This semester, I will be working with the Langone Medical Center on a project about integrated healthcare. As someone who works on an annual health and wellness fair in Harlem, NY and has a chronically ill parent, this opportunity resonated with me on a personal level. I am also excited because healthcare has always been an interest of mine, but I don’t necessarily see myself working in the industry (subject to change). This gives me a way to experience an industry which I might otherwise  have never gained exposure to. I’m looking forward to the possibility of helping people through this opportunity. I will be sure to report back on my experiences.

Lastly, I’m thrilled to be taking my first elective this semester – foundations of entrepreneurship! I took one class in undergrad where I was required to write a business plan. Since then, I have always been interested in the possibility of starting my own business. I have some ideas in the retail space that I plan to explore. I’m hopeful that this class will give me a good starting place to put my thoughts into action. Stay tuned for an exciting semester!