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Online Entrepreneur

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

By: Drew Joseph, The Dartmouth

David Gardner '05 is chief executive of a thriving Internet design startup, ColorJar, in turbulent economic times, but this online venture is hardly his first. Gardner cut his entrepreneurial teeth during his sophomore summer when he created Buzzflood, a web site that publicized the successes of students and alumni.

"There were a lot of good things at Dartmouth that no one knew about," Gardner said in an interview with The Dartmouth. "There was a culture where people were almost embarrassed to talk about their accomplishments."

Buzzflood did not last long after Gardner graduated, but in 2008 the former sociology major helped found ColorJar, which builds web sites and online strategies for its clients, he said.

ColorJar focuses on the entertainment and sports industries, according to Gardner. Two of the company's main clients include sports journalist Stephen A. Smith and Music for Tomorrow, a foundation started by actor Jude Law that aims to restore the jazz culture displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Gardner took a break from online entrepreneurship after graduation. After playing basketball at Dartmouth and serving as co-captain senior his year, Gardner went to Germany to pursue a professional basketball career.

"?It was a realistic goal for me to try to play professional basketball," Gardner said. "I didn't have a plan B. My plan was to play basketball."?

After playing for one year, Gardner decided to leave basketball and Europe behind, heading to Bangalore, India to start a web site with two other Dartmouth alumni, Kabir Sehgal '05 and Constantinos Neophytou '06.

After traveling across India and speaking with college students, he realized that they lacked a way to network online. The web site served to help users pursue their goals by connecting them with mentors or people who shared their dreams, Gardner said.

To read the rest of this feature, as found in The Dartmouth, please click here.