Nineteen-year old, first-year student Stacey Ferreira, co-founded and co-runs a global company from her NYU dorm room. A music business major within the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Ferreira is the co-founder, vice president, only female and youngest employee of the newly launched, MySocialCloud, a secured, online storage site for user logins and password information. She is also Sir Richard Branson’s youngest investment. The multi-billion dollar Virgin brand mogul invested in Ferreira’s company for business operations and has secured a matching investor for the student’s start-up.
“The birthday money and family loans were quickly dwindling and we had top-of-the-line security programmers to hire and needed actual office space,” said Ferreira. “Taking a break from market research one evening, I logged into my Twitter account and saw a tweet from Sir Richard that offered people an opportunity to meet with him in Miami over cocktails. I reached out to his personal assistant, explained that I wasn’t old enough for cocktails, but told her about the company and that I’d love the chance to meet with him. Shortly, I got an e-mail back telling me that my brother and I could come out. After begging my dad for the airfare, three days later, we were on a plane to Miami. It was a long shot, but we couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Oh, and we had to pay our dad back.”
MySocialCloud started out of a software programming hobby that Ferreira was introduced to in highschool with her now 21-year-old brother Scott. They began creating music blogs and social networking sites for their friends, but were finding that they were accumulating too many usernames and passwords. Ferreira’s brother had built a separate database to hold the information. One evening, his computer crashed, yet the online storage space remained intact, along with his numerous login aliases and passwords.
“It’s one username and one password for your MySocialCloud account. You click on your various site destination -- Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In whatever -- and you are automatically logged in,” said Ferreira. “That is where the name comes from -- it works in a cloud. You aren’t tied to your computer. You can access this information from any desktop, laptop or computer that isn’t your own.”
The eight-member company was incorporated last May and officially launched just last month in Los Angeles. Sir Richard Branson was in attendance. Ferreira attributes the company’s success to the “amazing group of people” she works with and the start-up’s “wonderful users."
Back on the east coast, on the second floor of NYU’s Rubin Residence Hall, Ferreira is overseeing all marketing efforts, coordinating bi-coastal conference calls with her programmers, managing strategic operations, evaluating east coast user experience, and streamlining the MySocialCloud vision. She also makes time to attend her Steinhardt music business classes.
“Last semester Stacey asked me if she could sit on a class to practice her pitching skills,” said Catherine Radbill, Ferreira’s academic advisor and a professor within NYU Steinhardt’s music business program. “She joined my seniors and graduate students for their final presentations, and when she was finished, there was dead silence in the room. None of us had any idea that Stacey was in beta testing for a company and that she already had investors. We are just so excited about Stacey's venture and are doing everything we can to support her.”
To learn more about the NYU Steinhardt and the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, visit: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music.