We’re excited to embark on our 4th year of housing and nurturing some of Columbia’s brightest entrepreneurs, which this year span every industry from fashion and green technology to business analytics and education.
In this Dispatch from the Lab, we’re taking a look at some of the teams that are setting up shop in this space:
Meet Thread Counsel, which uses data science to design and manufacture perfect-fitting women’s workwear (blazers, sheath dresses, slacks, skirts) that is customized to each person’s unique size, shape, and style preferences via its e-commerce platform.
Carly Bigi ’17BUS and Erin Jaeger ’17BUS came up with Thread Counsel when they were management consultants struggling to find high-quality, well-tailored workwear at an affordable price point. They found themselves wasting full days hunting for work clothes on the weekend while their male counterparts had several options to buy affordable, well-fitted suiting in minutes.
The problem is that women shopping for affordable workwear staples are limited to styles cut from pre-existing size patterns that are made to fit an “average” woman’s shape – and no woman is “average.”
So Carly and Erin involved real women in their solution. Rather than using one fit model for sizing, Thread Counsel takes a data-driven approach that is based on over 10,000 real women’s measurements and offers each piece in multiple shapes per size (think: a more straight up-and-down size 6 versus an hourglass size 6). Thread Counsel’s hybrid business models combines the low cost advantages of pattern-produced apparel with the superior fit and style preferences of custom tailoring.
Thread Counsel is launching its beta sheath dress in Fall 2017 and a full collection in Spring 2018.
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There are two big issues facing STEM: 3 million STEM jobs will go unfulfilled in the U.S. by 2020 and the STEM workforce is no more diverse than it was 14 years ago.
Shyno Mathew ’17SEAS and her team at qLogiX Entertainment are tackling those problems by getting children from diverse backgrounds excited about STEM from an early age through educational tools that teach STEM concepts through play.
Many children lose interest in STEM as early as 3rd or 4th grade, so qLogiX’s tools aim to be entertaining, to eliminate any social fear associated with learning STEM subjects, and to represent a racially and gender-diverse STEM population to an equally diverse, young audience. The team has been working for the past year on its first product, “BooMEE”, a STEM video game which is currently in beta testing. The team is also customizing content after school programs for Ascension School in Manhattan, and magazines like Parents, Nickelodeon Magazine, American Girl, National Geographic for Kids, Family Fun, and Highlights for Children.
qLogix has its sights set on engaging 95% of the city’s 290,000 children, ages 7-9 this year, in part by working with organizations like Boys & Girls Club, Philanthropic Educational Organization, and charter and parochial schools.
Keep up with the team here.
Mike Cherkassky ’17BUS, Stas Cherkassky, Laura Kornhauser ’17BUS, and Dmitry Lesnik are launching Stratyfy, a platform that helps enterprise customers better manage their data-driven decision process, allowing them to evaluate, analyze, and implement high-impact decisions that fuel top line growth and margin expansion.
What is a decision process? Some familiar ones include applying for a credit card, getting an insurance quote, or receiving a loan. These decision systems are based on outdated architecture that makes them difficult to build, scale, and maintain. This lack of flexibility results in lower accuracy, under utilization of employees, limited information for managers, and frustrating customer service experiences.
The Stratyfy Solution combines expert knowledge, in the form of decision rules, with machine learning technology to form a powerful and elegant decision management platform. With its platform, decision drivers are visible, models are flexible and scaling is immediate.
With an infusion of funding from the Lang fund, Stratyfy is currently running a beta program with a select group of clients in the lending industry to polish its product and sharpen its technology, gearing up for an official launch towards the end of the 2017. Since its technology can be easily exported to different industries, Stratyfy will expand to other use cases after establishing itself in the lending market.