Just three short years ago, Newman began his journey as a full-time CEO of his very own tech startup named Dandy. He created the company with his partner and co-founder, Leor Massachi, while the two were seniors in college. We’ve got the full scoop on how Newman went from a Real Estate Development student to a full-time entrepreneur, all before earning his undergraduate degree.
Newman was born and raised in Beverley Hills, CA. Although he’s mainly American, he takes pride in inheriting a Persian background from both his mother and father. Early on in his younger years, he became interested in the various aspects of business and how they were created. He also enjoyed learning about the Israeli economy and the country’s positive outlook on young people developing their own startup companies.
When Newman got to high school, he became heavily involved in extracurricular activities and always did well in class. Not only was he named Senior Class President, but he was also involved in several sports and school clubs. As if that weren’t enough on his plate at 17, he also had the opportunity to get a taste of what it was like to build a business when he founded his own tutoring company during his junior year. He saw an opportunity arise when the younger kids in grades K-8 were complaining about their tutors being too old and not up-to-date with the material. Brilliantly, Newman asked some of his friends if they wanted to earn some money tutoring the students, and the rest was history. The company took off instantaneously, and Newman kept it running until he graduated in 2015.
Once he reached college, the grind continued. Newman decided to pursue a degree in Real Estate Development at the University of Southern California. Although he was indeed partially interested in the real estate portion of the program, he was far more captivated by the school’s innovative take on technology and its multifaceted ability to influence new businesses. At that point, he began to understand the building blocks of a tech startup, and he fell in love. Along the way, he met several friends, mentors, and executives that taught him the dos and don’ts about the complicated world of Silicon Valley. But regardless of the dire risks he was advised of, he knew his ultimate goal would be to someday establish a startup company of his own.
In the meantime, Newman founded his second small business with his then-roommate and best friend, Leor Massachi. The two college students created a design agency that helped businesses market toward the Gen Z demographic via custom-made interactive Geofilters on Snapchat. At the time, the social networking app had just begun allowing users to publicly submit Geofilters for a fee, but it had not provided any tools or instructions on how to create them. Due to the high design skillset and intricate strategy required for the process, Newman and Massachi saw it as a business opportunity and proceeded to create a company named Geocasion. Although the business only lasted a few months, the experience proved essential for what followed for these two college students. In addition to founding Geocasion, Newman also founded USC’s TAMID Tank event during his sophomore year, which is the school’s equivalent to the popular television show, Shark Tank. The competition was created to provide students with a real-life experience of pitching their startup concepts to big-name investors and venture capitalists. Their first event filled an auditorium of 500, and since then, TAMID Tank has held the event annually. The organization also named Newman their Vice President of Operations.
But things changed in 2018 when Newman’s roommate suggested the idea of creating a dating app for millennials and gen Z’s unlike the existing ones on the market. After sitting and brainstorming for hours in their dorm, they came up with a concept that was far too tangible to pass up. They wanted to create a version of a dating app that would mimic two people meeting in person for the first time. Users would log onto the app once it went “live”, and they would have an allotted time to attempt to find their match and start a conversation. Once two users established they were interested, they’d be transferred into a three-minute video call where they could formally introduce themselves and decide whether or not to move forward with communication off the application. They called the app Dandy and instantly began searching for the perfect engineers to develop the product. 3 months later, the app launched its beta testing.
Dandy blew up all over USC, and eventually, all over Los Angeles. People were excited to try this new version of virtual dating and claimed that it was a “magical” app since it cut around the BS and got straight to the point of building new relationships. At this point, Newman and his Massachi began to pitch Dandy to investors in hopes to raise funds for the app’s future development. After hearing 117 no’s, they received their first yes, as well as their first check from an investor. Once the first came, many others followed, and soon enough Dandy has fundraised over $3.3 million in a matter of months from investors involved in companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, and Facebook. Newman took over all finance and logistic aspects of the company while Massachi handled the marketing strategy and creative.
Things were running smoothly until word of a pandemic began to consume the news in February 2020. The two business owners called an emergency meeting and decided it was the perfect time to rebrand Dandy into something more applicable to the possible consequences of a national pandemic. In just a few hours, they came up with the idea for Zoom University– a virtual dating app with the same “live” concept of Dandy, but with two-on-two video calls resembling that of a double date. Since some users had commented that Dandy could become stressful and awkward during the short video calls, the founders hoped that having a user bring a friend would help turn the tension into fun. The next day after the meeting, the team had a web MVP of Zoom University uploaded and a rough draft of the app immediately went live. In honor of their first creation, they decided to keep the name of their now product-based startup company as Dandy.
Since then, Zoom University has gained traction all over the internet; including Tiktok, which had a video about the app hit impressions of over 2.5 million views. Users were scrambling to get their hands on this new dating app. In just a matter of weeks, a waitlist of thousands of users began to accumulate while the Dandy teamed continued to finalize the details behind the app that was only originally meant to stay live for a week. Positive feedback came pouring in from users, and eventually, the application broke records as it made it through the Top 10 Best Social Networking Apps on the Apple Store, coming in at #9.
Four businesses and two successful startups later, 23-year-old Newman says his success has come from knowing how to take high-level concepts and applying them to a realistic, practical lens. Although his achievements have skyrocketed over the years, he shares that the work has only just begun. He and his partner are currently working with investors on their next top-secret product that is reckoned to top all their prior inventions and take the market by storm once again. Details cannot yet be disclosed, but we wait eagerly to see how a few college seniors will continue to dominate the startup world with their commitment and dedication to changing the world through the use of advanced technology.
Choosing a Reliable Roofing Contractor: 10 Questions to Ask
The durability and safeguarding of your home are heavily reliant on the state of your roof. Whether you’re confronted with repairs, a full replacement, or the installation of a new roof, the selection of the perfect roofing contractor holds paramount significance. Determining whether you’re selecting the best option among the abundance of choices available can be difficult. In order to help you with this crucial decision-making process, we have painstakingly put together a list of 10 crucial inquiries to ask potential roofing contractors.
1. Are You Licensed and Insured?
Verify the contractor’s eligibility to operate in your locality by scrutinizing their credentials, and be sure to demand evidence of insurance. The significance of this step lies in its role as a protective shield, guarding you against potential liability should any accidents or property damage transpire during the course of the project.
2. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Experience matters in the roofing industry. Contractors with a long history of successful projects are often more reliable and capable of handling various roofing issues.
3. Can You Provide References?
In the process of choosing a contractor, it is imperative to request references from their previous clients. A trustworthy contractor will not only furnish you with a roster of contented customers but will also supply their contact details, affording you the opportunity to reach out directly and delve into their firsthand experiences. This direct feedback will provide invaluable insights into the contractor’s performance, professionalism, and dependability, empowering you to make a well-informed decision.
4. What is Your Specialty?
Roofing contractors may specialize in specific types of roofing materials or projects. Make sure they have experience with the type of work you need, whether it’s asphalt shingles, metal roofing, or commercial roofing.
5. Do You Offer Written Estimates?
To foster clarity and preempt potential misunderstandings, it is strongly advised to refrain from solely relying on verbal estimates. Instead, it is prudent to seek a thorough, written estimate that encompasses all critical facets of the project. This written estimate should include a complete analysis of the necessary materials, an estimate of labor expenses, and a clearly defined schedule outlining the project’s key checkpoints and the anticipated completion date. By employing this tactic, you can provide the groundwork for good communication and guarantee that all stakeholders are aware of the needs and parameters of the project.
6. What Warranty Do You Offer?
Inquire about the warranties they offer for both materials and workmanship when choosing a contractor. An honest and reliable contractor will always stand behind their work and provide thorough warranties that shield you from any potential flaws or problems that might develop later. These guarantees not only give you peace of mind, but they also show how dedicated the contractor is to producing top-notch outcomes and assuring your pleasure throughout the entire process. So, don’t hesitate to ask about the warranties and make an informed decision that gives you added confidence in your choice of contractor.
7. Do You Have Proper Permits and Documentation?
Ensuring that the contractor you hire will manage all the necessary permits and paperwork on your behalf is of utmost importance. This proactive approach not only conserves your valuable time and effort but also serves as a protective barrier against potential legal complications or entanglements that could surface down the road. By entrusting these responsibilities to a dependable contractor, you can enjoy peace of mind and dedicate your focus to other aspects of your project or business with unwavering confidence.
8. What Safety Measures Do You Have in Place?
Ensuring safety should always be a paramount concern when undertaking any roofing project. It is crucial to inquire about the contractor’s safety practices, which encompass not only the equipment they utilize but also the extent of their training. By doing so, you can help guarantee the well-being and security of all individuals involved in the project, fostering an environment that prioritizes safety above all else.
9. How Will You Handle Unexpected Issues?
When embarking on roofing projects, it’s essential to acknowledge that they can occasionally unveil unforeseen issues that were not initially apparent. Engaging in a candid conversation with your contractor regarding their contingency plans for addressing these unexpected challenges is of paramount importance. Furthermore, it is prudent to inquire about the potential extra expenses that might arise due to these unanticipated circumstances. Establishing a transparent understanding of how the contractor intends to manage such situations contributes to a more streamlined and prosperous roofing project.
10. What Is Your Timeline for Completion?
To maintain a seamless workflow, it’s essential to gain a thorough grasp of the project’s schedule. Delays can be a source of significant frustration, which underscores the importance of having a precise understanding of what lies ahead. This knowledge empowers you to plan and allocate resources with precision. Being well-informed about the project’s timeline enables you to anticipate and address any possible challenges or obstacles that may emerge, ultimately contributing to a more successful and efficient execution.
*Bonus Tip: Check Online Reviews and Ratings
Prior to reaching a final decision, it’s advisable to conduct an online review and rating check for the roofing contractor. Platforms such as Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau can furnish valuable insights regarding their reputation and levels of customer satisfaction.
Selecting the appropriate roofing contractor is a momentous decision that holds the potential to influence the long-term structural soundness and overall value of your home. By posing these 10 critical questions and undertaking comprehensive research, you’ll be fully equipped to choose a dependable roofing contractor capable of delivering top-notch workmanship and providing you with peace of mind throughout your roofing project.
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