The loft was dressed downtown-chic in contemporary white with dimmed lights. NY’s finest DJ kept a steady pulse on electronic pop beats, while sounds of success stories and handshakes quickly filled the air.
On October 13th, entrepreneurs, investors and startup enthusiasts gathered together at Stylight’s Soho loft space to launch The Royal Jungle Festival: NYC Edition.
Wildly successful in Europe, The Royal Jungle is a movement that integrates the festival-like ambiance and energy into the startup community. Its sole focus is to create an environment where the city’s best, most successful entrepreneurs connect over common qualities: a chronic need to create, an undeniable thirst to innovate, and an everlasting drive to reach success.
With plans to re-create the same effect in America, Stylight had the incredible honor to co-host the launch event with The Royal Jungle on a smaller scale in our Soho loft office. Featuring three passionate entrepreneurs and two moderators, the panel discussion proved to be inspiring and insightful, yet humorously humbling.
“For me, the scariest part about being an entrepreneur is realizing that I am the boss. If something was broken, or things just got completely out of control, I would look around for someone to come and fix the situation. Then I realized, ‘oh crap.. that someone is actually me,’” said Melissa Alam, founder of The Hive.
Melissa’s love and acute dedication to ‘the hustle’ and respect for fellow women entrepreneurs encouraged her to create The Hive – Philly’s first co-working space for women. Melissa continues to empower women and bridge the gender gap through her digital magazine, Femme & Fortune, which also aims to build an inspiring community for ambitious women.
Daniel Kirsch, co-founder of the infamous Daniel Jonas fashion label, shared his incredibly memorable claim to fame experience that involved a burger, a superbowl afterparty and a hat. With minimal knowledge of US-based artists and athletes, the young entrepreneur fell into a few amazing opportunities to get his brand in front of the right people- and the results have been tremendous. With support by renowned celebrities and fashion enthusiasts, the Daniel Jonas collection has plans to grow and expand into other verticals in the near future.
The stage welcomed another important venture, which strives to combine social, education, and philanthropy in the way of video games. Skyless Games are designed to train users on unique segments that have low accessibility, such as government fraud, anti-corruption in law enforcement, and autism spectrum disorders. Founded by Arad Malhotra, Oleks Levtchenko and Chris Bennett, these visionaries have created a platform that gives gaming a purpose.
“Although some days are tougher than others, it’s that feeling of responsibility and determination that motivates me to keep going” said founder, Arad Malhotra. “I think that’s the most important part about being in the startup community – it’s knowing and understanding that regardless of your business succeeding or failing, if you believe in what you’re doing, you’ll always have the will to keep going.”
Similar to the magnetic attraction we feel when surrounded by and connected to like-minded peers during music festivals – The Royal Jungle, NYC Edition brought about the same attraction within the walls of our office. Strong passion and cultural curiosity ignite these environments, and our worlds are quickly turned upside down as we learn, exchange and discover ideas.
It’s events like these that NYC needs more of – and we at Stylight have made it our mission to bring them here.
|By Pujah Shah|