While most Yalies consider their dorm rooms a safe haven after a long day, one Yale junior decided to use his room in Jonathan Edwards College to launch and manage his own $1 million company.
Brad Galiette ’08, an economics and computer science double major, was recently featured in BusinessWeek as one of the top 25 American entrepreneurs under the age of 25. His company, PolariStar, founded in 2003, specializes in selling online advertising infrastructure and marketing and hosting services to small businesses and big companies, such as Time Warner and Wal-Mart. Galiette said he thinks that the success of his company and of other young entrepreneurs on campus is in part owed to Yale’s encouragement of entrepreneurial spirit among its undergraduates.
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Galiette is the director of finance for the News.
During the college application process, Galiette initially thought about applying to Harvard University, but quickly changed his mind when he discovered that Harvard does not encourage its undergraduates to start their own companies.
“When I talked to one of the representatives of Harvard, it surprised me a bit to hear that Harvard discourages undergraduate students from starting businesses in their dorm rooms,” Galiette said. “There’s a strong verbiage against it.”
Galiette said he thinks New Haven and Connecticut do a good job supporting entrepreneurs. Resources such as the Office of New Haven and State Affairs urge innovation whether it is in a dorm or lab room, he said.
“When people ask me if the entrepreneurial spirit in New Haven is just like the one found in Silicon Valley or Cambridge [Mass.] I tell them absolutely,” he said. “There’s a dozen of organizations and companies that have been founded thanks to the support from this area.”
In comparison to Harvard, Yale offers a variety of resources for the foundation of student-run companies, he said. Galiette is chief development officer for the Yale Entrepreneurial Society, or YES, which seeks to support Yale entrepreneurs through events and an annual competition for seed money.
“Organizations such as YES want Yale’s undergraduates to be entrepreneurs,” he said. “Our heritage of innovation here at Yale created a great support structure for any endeavor imaginable.”
Alan Frishman, principal of Galiette’s high school, Valley Regional High School in Connecticut, said he cannot imagine how Galiette manages to juggle his school work with managing a company.
“People are very supportive about his endeavors and it leaves me wondering how he even manages to run his own company while being a Yalie,” he said. “He has amazing time-management skills.”
Ward 1 Alderman Nick Shalek, who worked with Galiette in YES, said he believes Galiette’s insight will lead to much future success.
“I remember how shocked I was by his ingenious ideas,” Shalek said of when he first met Galiette, when Galiette was in high school. “Back then, he had developed a financial tool that would help starting companies to gain exposure.”
Noah Glass ’03, who was also included on BusinessWeek’s list, created a company, Mobo, that allows customers to use text messages to order from food vendors. His concept received an amount of $500,000 first-round financing from interested investors and was eventually piloted at New Haven’s Koffee Too?
Glass attended Harvard Business School after graduating from Yale.