During my undergraduate years at Buffalo I tried to get a couple startups off the ground. I’ve stopped working on them due to graduate school, but hope to commercialize a few ideas later in my career.
Startups Market was a product that aimed to solve needs in the growing area of equity-based crowdfunding. In recent years we’ve seen a surge of interest in entrepreneurship around the country. Nearly every major university now actively encourages its students to start companies through business plan competitions. There are millions of individuals who have the disposable income to invest in these startups, but they don’t have a straightforward means of doing so. Thanks to the recent passage of the JOBS act by Congress, the bureaucratic requirements to invest in small businesses have been relaxed. Startups Market aimed to capitalize on this change in regulations by creating an online marketplace where investors can buy and sell stock in early-stage companies, similar to how pieces of established corporations are traded on Wall Street.
The explosion of interest in electronic-dance-music, which recently became a billion-dollar industry, has been enabled by the ability to produce studio-quality music on a simple laptop. Teenagers who’ve produced music from their bedrooms have literally become superstars. But because there are now millions of producers around the globe, finding high-quality music has become challenging. Traditional music players such as Spotify and Pandora only play music owned by major record labels. Independent producers don’t have a way to get their music heard. DropTheFunk attempted to solve this problem by aggregating independent music from SoundCloud and YouTube. With machine learning algorithms that adapt to your personal musical tastes, finding new music has never been easier. The web app is constructed through a combination of the Drupal CMS, the SoundCloud and YouTube APIs, and nodeJS.
In the last semester of my senior year I worked with a team of 3 MBA students and 5 engineering students at the University at Buffalo in developing a business that aimed to increase college retention rates and increase the quality of life in universities through an algorithmic roommate matching system in student dormitories. By using data from social networks such as Facebook, Social Evolution would construct a profile of the key characteristics of students. By taking advantage of well-known algorithms from economics, network theory, and game theory, our software would optimally match students to enhance their quality of life. In doing so, we create happier, higher performing students. Other potential clients include the US Army and large corporations. The business concept won 3rd place in the 2012 New York State Business Plan Competition.