DIANA MURAKHOVSKAYA & IRENE RYABAYA
Co-Founders, MONARQ New York
These two amazing female entrepreneurs have taken their backgrounds in engineering, finance, and sales to build a new app that will change how women find friends. Diana received her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cooper Union and Irene received a Computer Science degree from NYU. After years in finance both decided to quit and travel the world together. It wasn’t till they’d seen quite a bit of it that they decided they needed to be doing something that made a real difference for more than just themselves. Diana and Irene came back from their travels and built the MONARQ app to be able to connect and empower women.
How To Find The Right Co-Founder:
Diana: We had a lot of complementary skills and had spent a lot of time together, which I think is really important. A lot of people kind of skip that process, but it’s kind of like a marriage. You have to have the same values of what the company is going to be. You have to decide is it going to be a massive billion dollar potential company, do you want a brick and mortar, or do you want a lifestyle business. We both knew we wanted the same type of company, we both knew each other’s work ethic, we’d spent 16 hours a day together, and we travelled together so we figured if that didn’t break that then nothing would.
Irene: Also for us we realized that we couldn’t work alone, we needed a co-founder, just someone to be responsible and make you get up in the morning. We figured out that we weren’t going to take this path by ourselves and we’d have to work together.
How To Come Up With A Company Name:
Diana: A lot of it was what website can we get. We wanted to find something that was easy to find because you don’t want to have a name that’s so generic that you can’t find it on Google.
Irene: Figuring out a name was one of the first things we did because we knew we needed a domain name before we even had business cards so we sat there, I think, for a week trying to find names. Throwing things around, translating different languages, looking at websites and then I think it was one of these beautiful collaboration things but one of us said like, “Social butterfly, oh, think about the Monarch butterfly, what if we spell it like this?” and we started Googling to make sure it’s available and we were like, “Oh, social Monarq, this is something we can go with.”
How To Find Events No Matter Where You Are:
Diana: If you can’t find a good event in your area then throw your own. There’s got to be five other students in your area who are interested in doing something similar.
Irene: There are also online communities. Dreamers and Doers is an online community and General Assembly has a lot of online webinars. So there are ways to learn about the world even if you’re not there. If you want to attend an event in person then be willing to travel too. We had a volunteer for a recent event and she came in from Philadelphia. She told us there were no events in Philly, so she makes an effort to attend ones in NYC. She makes an effort to come to New York once a week to go to an event.
What You Would Have Told Your High School Self:
Diana: I would have told myself that you will change your job more times than you think and it’s okay. You leave college and you feel like the first job you have you’re going to have for a really long time and that’s just not the case anymore.
Irene: And I would say don’t be afraid of failure. Make lots of mistakes. That’s something I think women need to focus on especially because mistakes cost us more. Eventually in college you just let go and say, “Stuff’s going to happen, it’s okay.” As an entrepreneur you realize you make mistakes every single day so as much as possible start making them early, take bigger chances, make mistakes, and learn from it. The younger you are the less they cost you.
Want to check out Monarq for yourself? It’s now available in the App Store, so click here to download.
Photos byGuarionex Rodriguez, Jr.