During his senior year in Washington D.C at Georgetown University, Nathaniel Ru and his comrades had a problem finding affordable healthy places to eat. They finally found a 560 square-foot tavern on M Street and had an idea to start their own. Six years later, they started an eatery on M Street which has grown to the current 21- store farm-to-table style restaurant chain sweetgreen.
The apartment building landlord where Nathaniel and his friends lived happened to be the owner of the tavern space where they wanted to start their restaurant. Ru called and explained to the landlord about their business idea, but she hung up. For a month Nathaniel and his friends insisted on calling the landlord until she agreed to meet up with them for a business meeting.
They showed up with a three-page business plan and had an idea of calling the place ‘greens.’ Ru stated that the landlord believed in their idea and asked them to find an architect and some business advisers and then present a real business plan. It took Ru and his colleagues three and half weeks to find some backers and an architect. The landlord helped them despite them not having any restaurant experience and only being college seniors.
Sweetgreen has grown and has stores in the Northeast’s major cities and their outskirts, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. Theresa Dold, a Georgetown University graduate, stated that Sweetgreen was started as a salad restaurant but with a deeper purpose. Ru assured people that every sweetgreen branch serves individuals with the same core values of the company.
In April 2009, the founders got a bigger space near DuPont Circle opened a restaurant but customers did not show up in the first two weeks. The owners of the place came with a music idea every Saturday and Sunday and playing music worked out with 600 customers showing up leading to an event called sweetlife.
Sweetgreen is now facing tremendous improvements including it has an app connecting customers, has yoga classes, promotions with gym and fitness clubs. Sweetgreen works toward giving clients and employees the best experiences.
Nathaniel Ru is the founder and the Co- CEO of Sweetgreen Company founded in 2007 together with Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. He is a graduate of Georgetown University at the McDonough School of Business. Nathaniel is passionate about his ideas and running Sweetgreen.
Dick DeVos, a Michigan-based industrialist and philanthropist, has a deep thought of creating a path for the children to follow the American dream. I am pretty convinced with his thoughts that the current education system of the country is not letting the children follow the dream and career aspirations as its quality deteriorated in the recent years. DeVos thinks that there are wrong ZIP codes where children are not able to chase their career goals due to lack of accessibility and quality education. Due to this, he allocates the largest percentage of money from his yearly contributions to education and education activism. Apart from that DeVos framed some initiatives to improve the educational quality including school of choice, charter school system, school vouchers, and more.
Dick along with his wife Betsy DeVos, the current U.S. Secretary of Education, contribute large sums to various philanthropic activities. In 2015 alone, they donated more than $11.6 million to various non-profits working with different goals. It should be noted that both of them just made a payment of $5.3 million to various political campaigning contributions in the last five years. I feel proud to detail that both of them have made philanthropic contributions totaling to $139 million as of the date. It should be noted that Dick’s father, Rich DeVos – the co-founder of Amway – instilled the mindset of contributing to a noble cause to his children since their childhood.
It should be noted that Rich and his family made a lifetime contribution of $1.33 billion that is about 25 percent of their total fortune of $5.2 billion. While coming to the contributions of Dick and Betsy, they allocated 26 percent – the highest – of their contributions in 2015 to educational causes. I have noticed that they also contributed $357,000, equivalent to 3 percent, to various groups that are supporting the education reform. It should be noted the contributions of the couple are facilitated through a foundation – Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation – established in 1989 to ensure efficient distribution of funds. Their other contribution priorities in 2015 include Arts & Culture (21 percent), civic and community (16 percent), leadership and development (13 percent), public policy (12 percent), human services (5 percent), and churches (4 percent).
As I expected, the Foundation gives priority to improve the K-12 education system of the country. It also gives greater importance to art and culture and instituted ArtPrize, an independently conducted and open international art competition, in 2009. The competition is held every year in early fall for 19 days in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Foundation led by the Dick and Betsy created a Pediatric Oncology Program in the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to ensure effective treatment for the kids who are suffering from cancer. Recently, I came to know that the team at the hospital has collaborated with 26 universities across the world to change the lives of children around the world.
Social media and social networking have played a large role in how we interact with other people in our modern age. CEO Whitney Wolfe is one to break barriers and set new trends into motion. With the original app Bumble, it took a new step in the direction towards changing our archaic dating rules. In it’s origin, Bumble did receive negative criticism, such as women don’t make the first move, or want to. Now the app boasts over 10 million users with 90% of the female users having taken the first step.
Whitney Wolfe had researched online dating and how when men make the first move, and get rejected, they react in aggression. By taking away the chance to message first and the amount of rejection the men feel, there is more flattery and less anger. Whitney Wolfe and her fellow employees make positivity and kindness their main mission for the app’s thousands of interactions.
One main argument for letting women message the men they match with first is that it may be ‘alienating the good guys’ as Wolfe herself admits in The Guardian. While this could occur in the app, changing the normal social cues from men being expected to act first, it creates a more confident start to the conversation from the females’ side. It also creates more respect to be given from both parties. Whitney Wolfe had also pointed out how with Bumble’s mechanics, women are finally the target audience for this online dating scene.
Bumble is now expanding into the market of creating personal connections. The dating app has generated an expansion to the existing app to allow it’s users to now find local people with similar interests that is obtained from one’s Facebook profile.
The expansion was thought of for meeting new people around the city or if you’ve just moved to a new location. Bumble BFF is the first of it’s kind, having been created from a dating app, allowing the brand to branch out into new social spheres. The expansion is available now for both Apple and Android.