IVY UNTAPPED, one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial social networks serving theIvy League start-up community, celebrated its official launch on November 19, 2013, with an invite-only reception at the Yale Club of New York. Founded by Alexandra Fairweather and Eric Goodman, publishers of the international luxury lifestyle publication Fairweather, Ivy Untapped provides an incubator-like network for Ivy League students and recent graduates to collaborate on new ideas and business ventures. Having only launched a year ago, members have already started collaborating and breaking ground on their new business ventures—everything ranging from fashion and technology to culinary.
In addition to the online platform, where members create profile pages, interact and track the latest updates of their fellow peer start-ups, members also gather monthly at the New York headquarters to attend Ivy Untapped Innovation Sessions, intimate roundtables where select members present their latest venture or business idea to a targeted pool of peers. Presentations are routinely followed by constructive feedback, and at times, heated debate over business plan viability, among other issues: nothing a few baked baskets of macaroons and freshly brewed coffee can’t settle.
How do you hope your recent Ivy Untapped presentation about self- branding may have inspired participants?
I would hope that my presentation inspired others to really leverage their personal, unique brand to fuel innovation in their field, no matter what that field might be. When I decided to leave my well-paying gig as an associate with a Park Avenue litigation firm, some mentors warned that I’d face more challenges than I could ever imagine. As a female attorney of color navigating the technology, new media and entertainment industries, I can’t say that they were wrong. However, not having an automatic seat at the table has become one of my greatest assets. My “otherness” immediately creates intrigue among my target audience, and I have learned to use that to my advantage. It has become the cornerstone of my entire brand in that my approach to business and the law is equally atypical. It is always my goal to help others use their individuality in the same way.
To learn more about Ivy Untapped, visit untapped.me.