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.
Beginner’s guide to ECN brokers: what they are, how they work, and are they right for you?
Choosing the right Forex broker is one of the crucial steps when starting your trading journey. No matter how much you invest in your education, how you monitor the fluctuations of the market, and how well you understand fundamental and technical analysis, at the end of the day, the platform you trade on will influence your bottom line. Whether it’s the spread or the commissions you pay, the Forex broker will, to a certain extent, determine how much you make from trading.
By default, most Forex brokers are STP brokers. STP stands for (Straight Through Processing), which means that they give you all the tools you need to trade and act as middlemen between the trader and the liquidity provider. STP brokers are the most common, and many people who do Forex trading don’t feel the need to replace them with something else. You can definitely grow your wealth by signing up for an STP broker, and if you are happy with your current broker, there is no need to change it just yet.
However, STP brokers do have their limitations, and there may come a time when the trader wishes to negotiate trading positions directly with liquidity providers, without a middleman. And that’s where ECN brokers come in.
What are ECN brokers?
Without getting too technical, an ECN broker gives traders direct access to liquidity providers so that they can negotiate their own prices. ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network – that’s the network they use to facilitate contact between the two parties, without getting in the way. Thanks to this direct contact, you get a series of benefits: you have more transparency, there are better trading conditions, price manipulation is limited, and you can even trade outside of normal hours. However, like most things in Forex trading, switching to an ECN network is a highly subjective choice. Before you say goodbye to your STP broker, you need to understand both the pros and cons of ECN brokers, if they can match your trading strategy, and, perhaps most importantly, how to choose an ECN broker that really stands by its promise.
Pros and cons of ECN brokers
Trade outside normal market hours
Compared to standard brokers, ECN brokers are more flexible, and they allow you to trade outside the regular market hours.
More favorable prices
Usually, with ECN brokers, you have tighter bid-ask spreads, which means that you can execute trades at better prices than usually available. Plus, trades are executed immediately because there is no middle man.
Although not all traders want to be anonymous, some do – particularly the ones who prefer making larger transactions. ECN brokers can offer that.
The broker won’t trade against you.
No matter if you win or lose a trade, the ECN broker still gets their commission, so they have no conflict of interest to work against you. STP brokers, however, can work against the client’s best interest by manipulating prices. Plus, the ECN broker will also give you access to real-time price information as well as the pricing history, so it’s virtually impossible to be fooled.
As beneficial as ECN brokers might be, they have their drawbacks, and these drawbacks will affect you if they don’t match your trading strategy. The most important con you should know about is that all the benefits of ECN brokers come at a cost – and a high one at that. ECN brokers ask for higher fees and commissions compared to regular brokers. These commissions are usually fixed, which can be a good thing, but if you execute a lot of traders, all of those fees can really add up and affect your profitability.
What’s more, the deposit requirements are higher for ECN brokers, and that can be really discouraging. Many traders argue that the ECN platforms aren’t too user-friendly, and it’s difficult to get accustomed to this type of trading, but it’s important to keep in mind that ECN brokers aren’t for beginners. If you’ve only traded for a couple of months and you’re still not very used to it, it’s normal for an ECN broker to look more complicated, which is why, when you’re starting out, it’s best to stick with STP brokers.
Keep this in mind when choosing an ECN broker.
ECN brokers offer favorable terms, but they’re not as easy to find. For example, there are few ECN brokers for US clients, which means that you’ll have to do more research to find one, perhaps even look offshore for options. That’s because the regulatory environment is stricter in the US, and brokers have to abide by harsh terms and conditions. Offshore brokers can offer better terms, even if they’re not regulated in the US.
They should, however, be regulated. The problem with unregulated ECN brokers is that they can be regular STP brokers trying to fool their clients. If you don’t do your research, it’s possible to open an account with what you believe is an ECN broker, only to discover that the trades are very slow and that there are many requotes. A requote happens when the broker is not able to execute the trade based on the price you entered. To avoid unpleasant surprises such as this one, the first thing to do is check whether the broker you chose is regulated. If they are, that means their services are legit and, if you try to scam you in any way, you can file a formal complaint, and your rights are protected by the law. If they’re not regulated, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a scam, but you’re not protected in any way, and there is a chance you might be putting your money at risk. When in doubt, always check online reviews and comparisons. If a broker isn’t what they say they are, users will complain about it immediately, and you’ll avoid a potential scam.
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