Instead of registering for plates, silverware and pots and pans that people may not want, Emily Washkowitz ’14 created Shareswell, the first online platform for gifting stock. The site offers everyone from engaged couples to future graduates the ability to register for stocks and build a financial portfolio, regardless of age or occasion. “Whatever the goal,” Washkowitz says, “register for shares, gift stock and live well!”
What is unique about your company?
Shareswell is the simple and secure online platform that lets you gift stock. You can register for your ideal stock portfolio, share with family and friends and receive stock and cash into your brokerage account. Shareswell allows you to build toward your own nest egg and invest in someone else’s future.
How did you come up with idea?
I was on a friend’s wedding registry searching for a gift within my price range. The only items left were a fork and a garbage can. After some research, I realized that registries are often filled with gifts that are ultimately returned and often returned for cash. But gifting cash can be awkward and impersonal. So I thought, why not give the gift of stock? After testing the idea with a few friends, I realized that gifting stock wasn’t just for weddings. Imagine graduations, baby showers, birthdays and more.
Which resources at Columbia / New York City have been most helpful to you?
The community at Columbia has not only been supportive but also inspirational. I have constantly turned to friends, alumni and professors for feedback on Shareswell’s design and strategy. The Launching New Ventures class, Entrepreneurship at Columbia events, and advisors like Professor David Lerner, and the Lions Lab have all been invaluable resources.
Outside of Columbia, The Startup Leadership Program and 37Angels have been immensely helpful and given me access to innovative entrepreneurs and advisors.
How can the community help you now?
Register for shares and gift stock! And help spread the word #shareswell
How can people contact you?
E-mail email@example.com or tweet to @shareswell.
Steve Gilman '15
“To organize a robust community, sometimes you have to put walls around it,” says Steve Gilman ‘15 about his company, Block Party Suites.