This NYC Startup is Shaping the Next Generation of Young Leaders

New York, N.Y. What happens when you drop out of college to start your own company — and are looking to make an impact?

Inspire college students, according to Isaac J. Kassin, 2012 Luce Leader and co-founder at Exeq. Isaac, who left school (though promises to return someday) after a short stint at NYU Stern, says that young leadership has been key in Exeq’s impact.

IsaacIsaac J. Kassin, 2012 Luce Leader and co-founder at Exeq. Photo: Exeq.

As I often mention in my writing and speeches, supporting young global leadership and creating positive social change is one of my strongest passions. To that end, I founded The J. Luce Foundation which aims to do exactly that — empower and develop young leaders, enabling them to leave the world a better place than they found it.

Back in 2012 , I honored Isaac J. Kassin as a Luce Leader, which is the highest honor our foundation awards for young leadership. Even though he was just in high school at the time, I recognized his dedication towards peer leadership, demonstrated by his efforts to start his own philanthropic foundation with his friends.

I knew that as Isaac aged he would continue instilling the ethos of the J. Luce Foundation in others, which is exactly what has happened.

Student Leaders copy

While most people only found startups in hopes of becoming rich and successful, it’s quite evident that’s not the case for Exeq, the startup Isaac founded with his best friends two years ago. Their app , which launched its beta in New York at the end of the summer, aims to help college students and millennials spend better.

Through actionable notifications, insightful data, and a social network around your spending, Exeq has redefined the relationship young people have with their spending.


The app for better spending, as many of their ads tout, surely seems noteworthy. Millennials are more than ever disconnected with their money, with financial literacy rates in the U.S. lowest among the world. Banks have given up on this important demographic, as their simply isn’t enough money to make off them for it to be profitable to them.

Exeq recognizes this unfortunate reality, and seeks to change it — which they’ve been incredibly successful at. To date, there have been over 100 graduates of Exeq’s Leadership Program.

Students of all ages, though primarily first-year students in NYC colleges, have gone through a leadership training program over the course of two months at Exeq. Not only do they get to see the inner-workings of a startup — from investing and business development, to even the creative and engineering aspects — but they also play an active role in Exeq’s development.

However, the ultimate goal of the program is truly to transform the students into “leaders among leaders,” as Isaac described to me.

Exeq Leaders

“Exeq is unique in that a great deal of responsibility is granted to the students,” says Isaac. “They get to train with employees in their respective interested fields, and then get in on the action. Exeq fosters an environment where young people can be both creative and create value.”

Exeq also takes initiative in promoting student advancement by forming close connections with local NYC colleges. Exeq has already partnered with New York University, Columbia University, Fordham University, and several of the City University of New York institutions, such as Manhattan College. Exeq helps these universities create events and initiatives towards student engagement like entrepreneurship and startup panels, beta testing programs, site visits, and internship offers.

Their most recent event, the NYU Stern Fintech conference, brought together 250 students, faculty and guests, to gain insight on financial technology, banking, and business. Exeq helped secure funding for the event, as well as provided thought-leaders to address the crowd. At Fordham, Exeq is hosting a financial literacy panel this month, with industry experts providing practical personal finance tips to students.

Our foundation’s Young Global Leadership Initiative identifies and supports young global leaders wishing to better humanity. We train them to think, write, speak, organize, and utilize social media more effectively. Luce Leaders are indeed “leaders among leaders.”  Through Honor, Intelligence, Integrity, Benevolence, and Stewardship, these youth uplift and empower humanity. We are proud to pass on the torch to the next generation of global leaders exemplified by Isaac J. Kassin.

Originally published in The Huffington Post, December 10, 2017.

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About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

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Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce ( writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (, he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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