During my graduation ceremony in 2016, I would have never dreamed that three years later I would be teaming up with a group of innovative entrepreneurs to form a technology-based startup company. Literally every single person in my class was talking back then about how excited they were to be entering a new phase in their life – but somehow I was still not convinced where I was going. I was eager to see what lay ahead, but I didn’t have much clarity on my next steps.
After graduating from Les Roches Marbella, I was faced with several questions: Which city should I choose? Should I stay in Hotels or move out of hotels? How can my education bring value to my professional career today? The questions just kept mounting and I had no concrete answers.
So, after a year of experimentation with different jobs that included stints at Marriott, eDreams, and a freelance travel and food guide in Barcelona, I was offered an incredible opportunity to apply at Hosco, a tech platform that connects the best hospitality employers in the world with top hospitality talent through partnerships with more than 280 universities worldwide. Sounds great right? It was. My job profile was as a Recruitment Solutions Consultant for 4* hotels in London and Amsterdam, and I began to feel my career taking shape. So, with Hosco, not only did I throw myself into a fun and exhilarating startup environment, but the role itself was something I had always dreamt of.
Ipshita Kumar on being a tech startup entrepreneur
However, one year & several learning experiences later, I was ready for a change. During the same period I had moved into an apartment with two people in October 2018 who were, at the time, complete strangers to me. However, as we got to know each other we managed to forge a relationship that grew into the three of us joining forces as business partners in our startup app, Lemonade Social. While I was enjoying my first six months at Hosco, my partners were developing ideas for Lemonade Social and working out the details on the first version of the app.
At the time, Lemonade for me was just a conversation that co-existed at home along with “Hey guys, how was your day?” It was not until early 2019 that I realised I wanted more out of the 24 hours in my day. I wanted to do more, learn more, try new things, and most importantly – fail harder, so that I could get back up stronger and better than before. With these nagging desires I started slowly getting involved with Lemonade Social by building communities in Barcelona. It ultimately began to consume more and more of my time before I realized all I knew I wanted to do was “make lemonade” full time! I decided at that moment to step outside of my comfort zone by taking the initiative to make Lemonade my full-time venture.
Lemonade is the only existing social platform that seamlessly connects and empowers creators like chefs, artists, musicians, mixologists, and event planners (et al) to create unique experiences and collect contributions whenever and wherever they want. The beauty of these experiences is that these creators can discover hosts on the app who have an idle living room, garden or rooftop terrace that can be monetized for a mutual collaboration through Lemonade’s profit-sharing model.
Today, seven months into this project, I only see endless possibilities for how professionals in hospitality today can be empowered to create their own community and brand through “pop-up” restaurants, speakeasy bars or even curate experiences for users already on the app around the world. By strategically leveraging Lemonade’s power to connect people offline, creators can build on their professional careers. Some of the communities growing under Lemonade Social are:
Working for a tech platform after graduating from a hospitality school has been and continues to be a great learning experience for me, and I cannot wait to see what comes out of this marriage. You can stay tuned to our journey by downloading Lemonade Social from the App Store and Google Play Store.