For David Pye, life starts at 50. After receiving his Master of Business Administration from the Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business this past May, the 34-year-old decided to start a venture called Localicy, an online network for people 50 and older.
The idea behind Localicy is to connect the 50+ demographic with each other through various issues, whether they be economical, political, health, or life in general.
“It will have some similarities to Facebook, but we don’t want to make it another Facebook,” he said. “We want the site customized to the needs of this particular demographic.”
Pye formulated the idea from research he conducted in the Phoenix community. He said he noticed many of the local, niche online communities had experienced growth and that the 55 and older demographic was the fastest growing in terms of social network adoption. The deciding factor behind pursuing the business was that a large percentage did not prefer existing networks.
“We saw it as an opportunity not only to generate revenue, but also to provide a channel that can help strengthen communities and improve lives,” he said. “Moreover, as a company, we have pledged that 10% of revenues go to local nonprofits that address the needs of the 50 and older community. Partly due to my experience in the nonprofit industry and partly to my personal beliefs, we have determined that the purpose of this organization is to benefit the community, while hopefully being profitable.”
His experience in the nonprofit arena began with Goodwill of Central Arizona where he primarily worked with youth, but also engaged with participants in the senior programs. While interacting in those programs, he was able to develop a network with organizations that engaged in the demographic.
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Pye won $14,000 in seed funding from the Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative and plans to launch the startup in September. He said his education through W.P. Carey guided him through the steps of developing a solid business plan, which helped his company win the seed funding.
He said his hope for the business is to see it expand to other regions outside of Phoenix.
The MBA program at the W.P. Carey School of Business provided Pye with a strong business organization background – something he said he didn’t get from his B.A. in Psychology from ASU. He said there are several reasons for the success he is finding after having graduated including the curriculum-involved training in the areas of organization and the open and supportive faculty.
“The MBA gave me knowledge of all the functional areas that I needed to understand, including accounting, finance, marketing, and management,” he said. “ASU’s MBA was particularly useful from the entrepreneurship perspective, as they had a lot of curriculum focused toward this. My studies at [the]nMBA program were invaluable for this venture getting to the point where we are.”
-Dustin Bass, @dbass_cmn