Wildcats at Work—Daniel Newman ’01 and Jenna Gestetner ’21

Windward Communications

Windward’s annual Alumni Festival brings graduates together, and it literally did just that for an unlikely duo who graduated 20 years apart.

Daniel Newman ‘01 and Jenna Gestetner ‘21 met at Alumni Festival in 2022, bonding over mutual connections at USC, where Jenna was heading into her sophomore year. Dan, who owns AI Next Now, LLC, a holding and consulting company for artificial intelligence products and data mining, quickly realized that Jenna, who developed a love for logo design and UI UX design at Windward, might be the perfect person to help him build out a new product, Fanlytcs.

“The first product we want to build with Fanlytcs is where a musician can see where their highest disposable income fans are located,” Dan explains. “We want to be a bridge between the musician, the tools, and their fans; a Salesforce for musicians.” Dan’s path to this project is an admittedly winding one, as he went from a focus in finance to developing a program that allowed consumers to order from a food truck directly from a mobile app to technical-meets-marketing consulting in the entertainment space. Along the way he realized the importance of working with hardworking, like minded people that shared his “win what you earn” mindset. “As we’re trying to build this product, we have really smart people like Jenna helping us.”

For Jenna, the collaboration has allowed her to further develop interests and skills she first fell in love with while a Sophomore at Windward. Described by Dan as a “0-1 enthusiast,” Jenna has consulted on everything from initial wireframe work and development planning to perhaps the most important role—helping to communicate Dan’s vision into concise, actionable items. The ability to communicate effectively across specialties has already paid early dividends. “Jenna created a mockup of what that should look like and just that mockup got us a fair amount of attention,” said Dan. Since building the dashboard mockup, Jenna has worked alongside other team members to help with user experience and user interface strategy and project management, as well as the behind-the-scenes work to obtain patents. “Jenna’s good at this. I am shocked at how good she is because she hasn’t even graduated college yet. She’s so talented, it’s amazing.”

Though they took different paths on their way to their partnerships, both Dan and Jenna agree that their time at Windward was crucial in cultivating the variety in passions they share today. “The nice thing about Windward is you can try lots of different things,” said Dan. Jenna agreed, citing her internship with Cedars Sinai’s Tech Accelerator through the Windward Network as an impactful moment in her early career. “Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about having a company or product in a traditional sense,” shared Jenna. “It’s about doing your own thing, your own path. I feel like the biggest thing I learned from Windward is to get experience, meet people. The internship I had was the biggest lightbulb moment.”

As the “car” that is Fanlytcs continues to be built piece by piece, Jenna continues to help Dan as needed while pursuing her degree at USC’s Iovine and Young Academy. She has also found a way to combine her passions of design, business, and health through consulting with health companies on brand strategy. While the end result of their partnership remains unknown, Dan hopes that Jenna’s time working with him may encourage an alternate career avenue. “Jenna is on track to work in healthcare, and I love the idea of her working in music, entertainment, and data,” Dan chuckles. “She’s granted me a Windward exception.”