When most startups receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding, they move to Silicon Valley or New York.
But not Quewey, a startup created by two Penn graduates that wants to leverage its Philadelphia roots and tap into the Penn network.
2009 MBA recipients David Luk and Matthew Safaii are the two founders who currently have $500,000 of funding from various venture capital funds.
Oftentimes, startups will move to Silicon Valley or New York to seek opportunities and funding. For instance, education management software company Coursekit moved to New York last summer.
“It’s not as if we don’t have access to the opportunities in those places,” CEO of Quewey David Luk said.
The online platform allows users to ask questions to certified professionals and receive reliable answers. The company vets its professionals to provide high quality answers. In addition to the question and answer feature, Quewey also has a personal consulting platform feature, which allows professionals to sell one-on-one time with users.
The platform is targeted toward all fields, but currently has a lot of buzz in finance sectors, such as private equity and investment banking.
“There’s a lot of Penn undergrads interested in [these fields], such as private equity and hedge funds,” Luk said. He added that he hopes “[students can] ask questions to people who are actually in the field.”
Currently, around 25 percent of the users of the platform are affiliated with Penn, Safaii said.
The duo has also worked with various organizations within Penn. Recently, they collaborated with Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs to increase students’ access to the program’s entrepreneur in residence.
“The person is only available for six hours usually and he always gets booked,” Luk said.
However, Quewey lets students “continue the conversation [with the entrepreneur]” through the platform’s question and answer feature.
To further connect Penn undergraduates with professionals in the field, the duo also plans to host Quewey forums, in which they will bring in experienced people from fields such as private equity and hedge funds and allow for student networking.
Of the $500,000 that the company has received in funding, “a substantial amount [comes] from Penn alumni and … friends from the business school,” Safaii said.
In addition to the network, Safaii also cites human capital as a factor for why Quewey has decided to stay in Philadelphia.
Currently, the startup employs multiple Penn interns and plans to hire about five more for the summer, if “we find enough rockstars at Penn” Safaii said.
College junior Kendall Baker is currently interning for the startup.
He thinks that startups do not have to move to Silicon Valley or New York in order to stay competitive, and he thinks that as a Penn startup, one of the biggest advantages of staying in Philadelphia is the Penn network.
Safaii eventually intends to “let everyone be a consultant” on a subject and let “people take advantage of their extra bandwidth, or time.”Comments powered by Disqus
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