Business and Ethics

SU in the News: Alumna Vanessa Lipschutz and sister profiled in Forbes

January 28, 2021

Noelle and Vanessa Lipschulz
Noelle and Vanessa Lipschutz, '19

Vanessa Lipschutz, a 2019 graduate from the Albers School of Business and Economics, co-founded Chances, a new a new social relationships app, along with her sister Noelle.

In its “Trailblazers” feature series, profiled Noelle and Vanessa Lipschutz, ’19. “Trailblazers” looks at the pivotal milestones that make up the life trails of inspiring women from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences.

Following are excerpts of a Q&A with writer Rebekah Bastian:

Entering adulthood in the midst of a pandemic and growing increasingly disenfranchised with traditional social media and dating apps, Noelle and Vanessa focused their efforts on building out an AuthenTech app that fosters an inclusive spectrum of relationships. Outside of their partnership as sisters and co-founders, Noelle is a psychology and environmental science student at UCLA—the first campus that Chances is rolling out in—and Vanessa is a recent marketing graduate from Seattle University. 

Bastian: What limitations have you observed in the ways social media and dating apps foster connections and how are you approaching relationship-building differently with Chances? 

Vanessa: I have felt limited on social media and dating apps because there is this constant pressure. The pressure to portray your best self and to ‘match’ with people. Countless times, I have debated which photo to post out of a set of nearly identical pictures and have spent way too much time thinking of how to respond to a match. The photo and response I’d choose would rarely portray my genuine self, but the one that went with my ‘aesthetic.’ In real life, my aesthetic is all over the place. Sometimes I’m put together and other times I’m eating a large pizza with sweats on. 

Bastian: Has social media ruined the idea of friendship?

Vanessa: We are approaching relationship-building differently with Chances by encouraging our users to see each other as much more than their photos. We have an interest cloud that shows someone’s interests and tells you which interests match with your own. We also have an activities carousel and calendar, which give our users the ability to interact with personalized images. You’re not just seeing a picture of your friend hiking—you’re inviting them to join you on the trail! 

Bastian: What advice would you give to other Gen Z women who are looking to pursue mission-driven entrepreneurship?

Vanessa: You are resilient and women are resilient. Learn from those younger and older than you. Everyone has something to offer you and you have something to offer them. Remind yourself to view others as people. Try to understand and respect the trail they blazed, even if is different than yours.

Read the full story here.