KGI Launches GradAtlas
Visual networking application created by alumnus makes it easier to connect to fellow alumni
Like many of us, Darren Leva, MBS ’05, believes that the bonds and associations we form during college or grad school are enduring, probably among strongest we’ll ever have. Unlike most of us, he’s found a way to make them even stronger, or at least more accessible. With KGI as their first client, Leva and his partner Paul Mennega have created GradAtlas™, a visual networking application specifically tailored for alumni groups and organizations. It combines Google, salesforce.com, LinkedIn and its own ‘Craigslist-style’ technology into one application that allows alumni or members of other school-based organizations to visually connect. KGI launched the user-friendly program on August 8 with growing participation expected in the coming months.
“It enables schools or other groups with a common interest to create an interactive map that shows where all their alumni are, while individuals can see where all their fellow alumni live and work around the world. It provides a great complement to whatever databases and data collection sources, they’re currently using.” said Leva, who noted that while LinkedIn and other social media companies allow for the formation of college or graduate school alumni groups, they don’t have the visual component of GradAtlas™ and aren’t tailored as specifically to taking groups of alumni (or those with another common interest) “to the next level.”
Leva came up with the idea for GradAtlas™ at a KGI alumni board meeting after the group decided to create a Google map with all of the KGI alumni listed on it. “You can program that in,” Leva said, “but there’s no off-the-shelf alumni application that allows you to plug a large amount of content on to a Google map. So, Paul and I decided to create one for KGI.”
In addition to the map, which can be accessed by both the school or alumni group administrator as well as individual alumni, GradAtlas™ includes a “Craigslist-style” posting categories which are geared specifically toward school or alumni groups, but could be tailored toward any group with a strong common interest. In addition, an individual alumnus/a has complete control over his or her own profile and can decide what information, such as an email address to share with the group.
Merlene Singleton, KGI’s director of alumni relations and the annual fund, agrees that collaboration has been very beneficial to both KGI and Leva. “We are always looking for new pipelines to our alumni and very excited to launch GradAtlas™. We see many potential uses for it and expect to find new ones as times goes on,” she said. “We’re also proud of Daren’s innovative mindset. That type of creativity and entrepreneurship is exactly what KGI works to develop.”
GradAtlas login instructions:
- Go to http://gradatlas.com
- Register for an account with the email address that you receive email from KGI
- You will be given instant access
- Connect your LinkedIn account to your profile under ‘my gradatlas’, settings tab