- Lang Spotlight
With digital choices ever increasing, we spend more time searching, organizing and struggling with distractions and less time doing things that matter to us. It can be overwhelming and as a result, the execution of some of our meaningful goals come to snail crawl. In comes goaloop™.
Andy Strott '99 joined goaloop™ as Director of Business Development while the company was in stealth mode. Learn how the site helps bring resources and the web to you to help you achieve your goals.
Tell us about goaloop and what is unique about it?
Goaloop™ is a new productivity tool that brings collaborators, search, funding and broadcast tools to consumers to help you achieve your goals. Whether your goal is to run a marathon, start a business, sell an old record collection, clean out your garage, or to raise money for a cause, goaloop™ offers funding opportunities, a community of supporters, one-touch links to connect to social media, research tools and much more to help you achieve it.
Simply state your goal on goaloop™, and on- and offline resources come to you to help you achieve it, resulting in a more efficient use of time online. As more and more people, groups, companies and organizations create and browse goals on goaloop™, a goal marketplace is formed, enhancing everyone's ability to achieve their goals.
Tell us about the team behind Goaloop.
It is a team of Columbians! Our CEO/Founder and Site Architect, Lori Terrizzi ’97, is an MFA graduate of Columbia’s Film Division. The CTO and Chief Technical Architect, Kaushal Kumar ’08, received his M.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University. Our Chief Communications Officer and Founding VP, Kelly Whiteside ’91, received her M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she was an adjunct professor. Nishant Shah ’10, Founding Associate and VP of Strategy, received his MIA from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA). Paul Nikolaidis ’11, Director, Corporate Citizenship, received his M.S. in Social Enterprise from Columbia University. Ellen Lukens ’93, Ph.D., Founding Consultant, holds a Ph.D. in Public Health from Columbia University, and is a Sylvia D. & Mose J. Firestone Centennial Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University School of Social Work.
Janet Hanson ’77, CEO and Founder 85 Broads, received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and is an Advisory Board Member as well as an investor in goaloop™. Srikumar S. Rao ’85, Ph.D., Founder of the Rao Institute, and renowned speaker, author, and creator of Creativity and Personal Mastery course, received his Ph.D. in Marketing from the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, and is an Advisory Board Member to goaloop. Yeonsoo Bae ’10, a Founding Consultant, received a Master of Arts in Statistics from Columbia University, and, I received my M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in 1999.
What has been your biggest “A-Ha!” moment to date and how did it change your business?
That there are so many startups out there! This forced me to focus on the unique differentiating features of goaloop™ that provide direct value to people and offer a solution to a previously unaddressed challenge.
This helped us focus in particular on one of goaloop’s most unique and useful abilities: goaloop™ is search inverted, it brings the web to you. State your goal, and on- and offline resources come to you to help you achieve it. Focusing on this and other core features when talking to investors and attracting users, generates substantially increased interest. Another differentiator is that goaloop™ offers the most flexible financial transactions on the web: if your goal needs funding, there are six options: pledge, hedge, donate, bid, buy and invest.
How have the classes you participated in at Columbia Business School shaped your business/management approach?
They have taught me to stay very focused on the few critical things that you need to implement in a business to succeed, especially in a startup: I learned to be able to explain simply: What are we offering? How does it work? How does it help the end user/client/investor? And, how will it make money? There are many paths to take when building a startup, but, staying focused on these core questions will lead to increased chance for success. Microeconomics with Professor Bill Gentry and Corporate Finance with Professor David Beim were particularly helpful.
The Columbia Alumni Connection: How have you used it and how do you stay involved?
Our corporate counsel, CTO and others came through my communications using the Columbia Business School listserve. I am a member of multiple Columbia-related groups on LinkedIn and have found the CBS community, in New York and beyond, to be a strong one and always willing to connect and assist a fellow alumnus.
What advice would you give to a graduating Columbia student with entrepreneurial aspirations?
First, make sure you have the personal financial resources to begin your endeavor. From experience, I can tell you that everything takes longer than planned. Secondly, create something meaningful that people will want to use and that solves a problem. My first business was an investment consulting business that advised foreign investors on investing in China. China is a complex market that demands local expertise, which we offered through our local investment team in Shanghai. With goaloop™ we are making it easier for people to get things done and be more productive in doing so.
The Columbia community is invited to participate as some of goaloop's™ earliest users. Sign up today!