Nineteen-year-old freshman Stacey Ferreira co-founded and co-runs a global company from her NYU dorm room.
A music business major in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Ferreira is the vice president, sole 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 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,” says 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.”
Ferreira reached out to Branson’s personal assistant, told her about the company and that she would love the chance to meet with him. She got an e-mail back saying that she and her brother could come down. The rest is business history.
MySocialCloud grew out of a software programming hobby that Ferreira was introduced to in high school 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 or your MySocialCloud account. You click on your various site destinations—Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, whatever—and you are automatically logged in,” says 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.”
According to Catherine Radbill, Ferreira’s academic advisor and director of Steinhardt’s undergraduate program in music business, Ferreira asked if she could practice her pitching skills in one of her music business classes.
“When she was finished, there was dead silence in the room,” says Radbill. “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.”