Stage: Napkin (idea)
Number of employees: 1-5
Short URL: vator.co/uptown-vs
Are you a rockstar designer? Do you have what it takes to battle the world’s top urban-inspired apparel designers? Come where design meets competition. You will be judged by the masses in an open forum of fellow designers and urban enthusiasts. Welcome to UptownVs, where you are the inspiration.
UptownVs is a new community centered online retailer of apparel and design goods. Each month a competition will be held that pits the community against a reputable urban brand with professional designers (e.g. Nike, Stussy, Bathing Ape etc.). The contestants will be given a specific theme and create designs within these criteria. The crowd-sourced online community will judge and vote for designs through the UptownVs website. All victors will garner life-long fame and glory.
In addition to the epic monthly battles, UptownVs will provide a forum of continuous training. Members of the community submit urban-inspired designs for t-shirts by uploading it onto the site. These are uploaded to the UptownVs website where visitors and members of the community score them on a scale of 0 to 10. Each week, 5-7 prints will be selected and printed based on votes and staff selection. Automatic entry into the monthly design battle and cash rewards will be distributed for designers of selected shirts.
The site will also feature news and trends on urban inspired themes and events. We also plan on also going mobile. Literally. We are incorporating a food-style truck that serves apparel to urbanites in various locations each week. Locations will be broadcasted through the website and social networks like facebook and twitter. Future expansion into the potential of mobile applications will be incorporated into the company plan.
Nick is one of the co-founders of Uptown Vs and has been a passionate apparel enthusiast since the third grade. He is a certified sneaker-head with a background in IT and Marketing consulting. Prior to returning to Merage for his MBA, he partnered with one of the largest advertising agencies in the world and consulted with a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical to create an innovative website that truly creates an enhanced customer experience. As a serial entrepreneur, Nick helped nurture and start an IT Services Consulting firm and also promoted a social media company that was eventually sold to a private venture capitalist. He also launched a contemporary art gallery in Orange County that was featured in several art publications and showcased in two international art fairs.
Nick holds a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and is currently pursuing his MBA at the Merage School of Business at UC, Irvine. Other important facts include playing Los Angeles Lakers Legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson one-on-one and knowing Pi to the 40th decimal. Seriously.
Francis is a designer who is currently taking Los Angeles, California by storm. He is pursuing his graduate degree at UCLA in architecture and has earned his Bachelor's degree in studio art with an emphasis on painting + drawing.
Francis' professional experience extends from interiors, installations and products to graphics and marketing. He has worked for Touraine/Richmond Architects, was a part of the design/build team for the "Artless Drawing" exhibition for Neil Denari at ACE Gallery, is a member of the Hammer Museum Graduate Initiative and has taught digital modeling software workshops at UCLA. He has also exhibited artworks in several fine art galleries and was featured in an exhibit at the LA in NY Art Fair.
Prior to pursuing his Master's in Architecture, Francis was a professional basketball player who played overseas and was invited to participate in the 2010 World Basketball Championships. He turned the offer down in order to help launch UptownVs. Greatest.Decision.Ever.
With an entrepreneurial spirit, Liz brings her experience in apparel design, marketing and creative management, sustainability, and music to UptownVs. She is currently the Marketing Manager at a leading engineering firm with a strong renewable energy and sustainability background. Liz is a lover of color and Pantone charts, and all things creative and adventurous. She started designing her own clothes at tender age of 7, and was taught about fabrics, textures, cuts, and clothing quality at young age by her family of seamstresses, designers, and boutique owners. She has extensive experience as a graphic designer, having designed 100+ tshirts for a variety of types of clients and understands printing and design processes well. As a previous Marketing /Sales Director at a marketing firm specializing in promotional products, imprinted apparel, and print media, she has built her experience in web development, brand strategy, social media, ads, and all things related to marketing.
Liz’s creative juices have been released through being musical director and leads in numerous musicals, national anthem singing at marathons and large community events, numerous choral groups, lead singer in 2 bands, and currently sings in quartet for weddings. She is currently attending UC Irvine pursuing her MBA, and has a B.S. in Business Administration (emphasis in HR) and a minor in Music from CSU Long Beach. She also enjoys doing philanthropy work and has extensive experience serving on a variety of professional and community service association boards.
Sondergaard - With eight years of prestigious architectural education behind him, Sondergaard is set to graduate from the extremely demanding Master’s degree program at UCLA, a highly regarded international institute for the development of future architectures. He has widespread experience in urban designing and website development. Despite coming from a humble background, Sondergaard has been able to transcend the ‘normative’; quickly becoming an architect fueled by independence and an unbridled creativity. Of Danish heritage, the exotic nature of his name is no coincidence. He has traveled the world extensively with destinations including but not limited to New York, London, Berlin, Vienna, and Venice as well as spending a great deal of time in the Northern Italian village of San Vigilio studying the urban design communities centuries old language and; Ladin. He provided inspiration for the World’s Most Interesting Man campaign.
Amanda holds a B.S. Mechanical Engineering Degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is pursuing her MBA at the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine. She is also working full time as an Design Engineer for Parker Aerospace designing, analyzing and leading projects for aircraft fuel systems.