Emily Mischel, Cohort 2

Bio: Emily is CEO and co-founder at FlexTogether, an online platform that brings the benefits of shared social experiences into the homes of isolated older adults. Emily holds a M.S. in Social Entrepreneurship from USC Marshall School of Business and a BA in both American Studies and English and World Literature from Pitzer College.

Current city: Los Angeles, CA

I am passionate about...

creating innovative digital health solutions that remain accessible to under-served populations.

What led you to USC and specifically the MSSE program?

I saw the gaps in my knowledge, business-wise, when building my first venture, Vintage Dinosaur Shop, an ethical online vintage shop which I started in high school. From that experience, I knew that social good and profitability were not mutually exclusive and looked to hone my skills.

What personal or professional experiences do you believe helped shape your values and worldview?

As a child, I had tremendous challenges in language acquisition (not speaking really until age 3). This not only instilled a sense of grit and determination, but, more importantly, a deep sense of empathy and purpose around wanting to help others facing big hurdles, especially in healthcare.

What lessons and experiences at USC and the MSSE program helped build the foundation for your career today?

Even though my idea generated in the program, MedZango, did not end up coming to fruition, completing customer discovery, ideation, initial prototyping, and the many many opportunities to compete in pitch competitions with my then (and current) co-founder Benji Rostoker, laid the foundation to workshop and launch additional ideas post-graduation. Having the ability to learn something in class one day and test it in the "real world" the next was truly a treasure.

What advice do you have for current students?

Invest in building the relationships within your cohort! Not only does this add tons of value and joy as a student, the MSSE network is supportive and helpful beyond your time in the program.

Connect with Emily & FlexTogether