Week 3

This week we learned about the more established money side of NYC’s business ecology. Highlights from this week include the discussion at Zephyr Management, Rudin Management, the free food and drinks at Bloomberg, and of course, winning the NASDAQ competition.

I enjoyed listening to the stories and insights given by the leaders at Zephyr management. Their experience and outlook on economy building and investment was both inspiring as an entrepreneur who will one day be looking for investment and as someone with a keen eye towards developing emerging and non-traditional markets. I liked the metrics that they laid out for determining where in the world to invest; investment in education, work ethic, and openness of markets. I think that their plans for investing in Sri Lanka, a place quite near to my heart, and India, a place I look forward to wrapping my head around this fall, are great places to look not only to for investment opportunities but also centers for innovation.
Rudin Management gave a fascinating presentation on how technology and real-estate can combine forces to both cut costs and increase energy efficiency. Nightmarish scenarios of the impending computer and machine apocalypse aside, the progress that has been made with sensor technology is astounding. Finding that the company had paid off the investment through savings within a year, and was now licensing the product around the world was inspiring, because it demonstrated how a company with a former competence in real-estate was transitioning to a world of data.

Bloomberg was a highlight for, if only for the free food. It was interesting seeing my classmates and myself of course, scramble for the freebees. I think back to one of our first sessions at the fancy law firm and everyone was so polite to take a bit of cheese, and now, after a few weeks, of NYC food prices, descend on a free buffet like a swarm of locust on a field. That’s good though, we’re learning the cost of doing business in the big leagues, and in the end we’re all scavengers in business anyway.

Finally, we come to the NASDAQ competition. I did not expect my team to win. In the end I put it up to two factors. 1) TK’s idea was too sophisticated, I still don’t know what it does, and probably never will, and 2) Ers, Oana, and Hari stood still at the podium. Still, we worked hard, it felt good to win, and I think it is a good idea and business plan. Whether we subject ourselves and our future children to life in the Delta is a whole ‘nother thing altogether. Seeing your face on a jumbotron in Times Square will be a memory forever. As will this trip and all the fun and insightful memories I’ve had and shared here.

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