Gather round, campers, turn down the lantern, and prepare for a story from our friends at Bloomberg. A story of two rich, good looking men, ripped by the claws of fortune and fate as they struggle to create a website for other rich people. This is a true story.
Bloomberg's Max Abelson introduces us to Philipp Triebel and Beri Meric, whose newest venture—called IvyConnect—is some sort of website. It has friends, like Facebook, it has discounts, like Groupon, and it has rich people, like Princeton. What does it do? We're not totally sure, but the two backers sure like to throw parties:
A former GE Capital associate with a fuchsia handgun on his $185 lilac tie gave out his business card near a Danish man twirling a Turkish woman. An American International Group Inc. (AIG) employee left out his firm’s name when he said he works in risk.
IvyConnect has led a ski trip to Vermont’s Mount Snow, held a dinner at Gemma restaurant in New York’s Bowery Hotel, hosted a reception at an art gallery and a Paris-themed Meatpacking District cocktail party and put together a Soho talk featuring five members.
You won't necessarily be invited to any of these parties if you pony up the $500 annual membership fee, but you will get "preferential table reservations” at the Dream Downtown hotel’s rooftop lounge" and "discounts to the Guggenheim Museum and Juice Press, which sells unpasteurized smoothies and cleanses." Sounds a little light, but they have history on their side: a past venture, IvyDate, raised over a million in funding last year, so millions more isn't outlandish. Also on their side is the entire history of white Ivy League people.
If this sounds like dilettantism, then shame on you: Bloomberg wants you to know that this is the road less traveled. "Post-Goldman Sachs startup life isn’t easy. IvyConnect is competing with the Ivy Connection, the Ivy Plus Society and IvyLife for Ivy League-themed dating, drinking and networking." The Ivy League Internet sector is hot-hot-hot. One problem for these two dudes, however, is that
only one of them went to an Ivy League schoolCorrection: Triebel attended Harvard Business School, which sort of counts, I guess. Either way, he's undeterred:
“I think there’s something to be said about building your own business,” he said. “It’s a more touchable impact that you have on other people’s lives than on Wall Street.”