What the company does: It’s like a LinkedIn for Wall Street, providing a private deal registry and secure communications tools to answer the question, “Who’s in on my deal?” This addresses a structural flaw in financial markets, where there often is limited knowledge of the true holders of financial assets. The company has raised $1 million in angel funding, and its database has information on more than 300,000 financial assets.
Founded: By Dave Jefferds ’90 and Mike Manning ’90 in 2011. Jefferds, who had spent 15 years working in finance, came up with the idea. Manning sells the concept to clients.
Says Manning: “It was day four of a ski trip with some Princeton classmates and our families. We were on the summit lift at Alta in Utah. Dave and I had been at each other’s throats for days discussing politics. To save the relationship, Dave said, ‘You know, I’ve had an idea for a business that I’ve been noodling with.’”
What the company does: It provides consulting and expert witnesses for patent litigation and other technology-related cases. The company has more than 40 employees, 17 of whom are Princeton alumni. It has worked with more than 200 law firms, as well as technology companies such as Google, IBM, and Oracle.
Founded: By Peter Creath ’97 and Christian Hicks ’97 during their senior year, though they had only a vague idea of what the company would do at the time. The mission crystallized when Professor Ed Felten tapped them to help with his testimony in one of the highest-profile court cases of the decade: the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust case against Microsoft.
Says Creath: “Christian and I had always talked about starting our own company. I remember his argument: When are we going to have any less to lose? Four years from now, you might have car payments, a family — so why not go for it now?”
What the company does: It’s a small nonprofit that works with primary-school children in an urban slum in Honduras. It helps parents and teachers organize student governments, drama programs, and athletic events, things the schools do not have. It serves 110 students in leadership-training programs.
Founded: By Brady Walkinshaw ’06 in 2006, with six Princetonians as founding board members: ’06 classmates Thomas Bender, Daniella Gitlin, Jamie Niemasik, Stewart Watts, and Zachary Woolfe; and Kendall Turner ’07. Walkinshaw was inspired to create the organization after spending a summer during college teaching English in Honduras, and he hoped it would keep a group of close friends connected after graduation.
Says Turner: “Although we would stay in touch anyway, the need to communicate about the project on a regular basis has definitely kept us very close.”