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With a hat-tip to Valentine’s Day, this show is about a dating app for the “smart, busy and ambitious” as well as life at Stanford GSB and start-ups.
Meet Amanda Bradford: [0:46]
She earned her bachelors in Information Systems in 2007 from Carnegie Mellon. After getting her degree, Amanda worked for leading tech companies like Salesforce, Google, and Sequoia Capital. After earning her MBA from Stanford GSB, she founded The League, a dating app with privacy controls and “curation.”
What is The League? And how is it different from other dating apps? [1:16]
Online dating can be overwhelming, and offline dating can be inefficient; The League is designed to address both of these issues. It aims to provide “quality over quantity” and takes people’s professional privacy into account—the app serves up 5 matches a day, with no overlap from Facebook or LinkedIn contact lists.
What does “curation” mean in this context? [3:26]
Both the app’s admissions process—which limits the profiles on the app to “high quality” profiles (to eliminate the problem of fake profiles many sites have)—and the careful matching process.
Plans to Expand [4:00]
They currently operate in SF and NY and have 100,000 people registered. They plan to expand to other large cities with a young urban professional demographic—such as LA, Boston, London, etc.
Amanda’s Story [5:56]
After various media reports about The League – not all flattering – Amanda wrote her own story on LinkedIn explaining why she founded The League. She decided to tell her personal story about dating as a career focused woman, and clarify the mission and values of the company. “I’m Not An Elitist, I’m Just An Alpha Female” has been viewed over 235,000 times.
Why did she pursue her MBA? [8:24]
Working at Google, she had strong role models and saw the career paths of women she admired – many of whom had MBAs. And she was looking for the tight knit network that you build during an MBA.
Why Stanford? [9:49]
It’s known for cultivating entrepreneurs, and she wanted to help build something from the ground up.
What did she learn in b-school? [10:57]
You learn how to respond to situations – gain self-awareness and business acumen. The management skills she gained have been helpful.
The League’s initial funding [14:41]
Her Stanford network was definitely crucial! Stanford provides a lot of opportunities for networking with venture capitalists, and she did an internship in venture. A lot of the initial investors were connected to Stanford and people she met there.
Additional value: classmates [16:04]
Being around such smart, talented people also helped her develop the company – feedback from her classmates helped her with marketing, etc.
What do people get wrong about Stanford GSB? [17:05]
Often, people think b-school is just about partying and networking. But at the core, you’re meeting hardworking, smart people who are doing really interesting things. It’s a powerful network.
For people who want to go to Stanford GSB – is there a “secret sauce”? Something that students there have in common? [19:21]
A tendency to take risks: speak up in class; start an organization. People at Stanford are doers.
Qualities of entrepreneurs [21:20]
Hustle, scrappiness, hard work, grit/persistence. Don’t say you don’t know how to do something.
Advice for Stanford GSB applicants [24:01]
Apply Round 1. Start early! Allow plenty of time to write (and rewrite) your essays. And allow time for self-reflection. The MBA is a major investment.
• The League
• “I’m Not An Elitist, I’m Just An Alpha Female”
• How to Get Into Stanford GSB, a webinar
• Stanford MBA essay tips
• Stanford zones page
• The Smart Timeline for MBA Applicants
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St.
• Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB
• An HBS Student Helping HBS Applicants
• Insights into MIT Sloan MBA Admissions with Dawna Levenson
• UCLA Anderson: Cool, Chic, and Tech