Last April, a time when many M&Ts had cemented their summer plans, I still wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do with my summer. I was considering spending my fall semester in Australia which would require leaving America in the middle of July, but by that point I realized that wasn’t the best decision for me. Around that time, I had been talking to two people about different ideas they each had. One was my father’s clients in Brazil who founded a telecommunications company, and was launching a new company to use Wi-Fi signals to identify unique locations and trigger action on users’ phones. The other was Connor T., a fellow M&T junior who passionately explained to me how he thought there was an opening for a mobile student discount card to replace the outdated programs that exist around the United States.
In mid-May, I found myself working on transforming both of these ideas into ventures. While I had worked with developing ideas in the past, this was the first experience I had with actually creating a business. I spent about two months in São Paulo, Brazil working with the founder on TagFi, and trying to focus the concept on a platform for insurance companies to monitor phone usage while driving. Simultaneously, I worked with Connor and a few other Penn students to create Treat, an application for
Penn students to get discounts at restaurants around University and Center City. I’m not sure if either of these ventures will be a success, but since coming back to Penn I’ve discussed them with students, professors, venture capitalists, and others. I realized that regardless of the final outcome, the experience of launching or helping launch a company at a young age has been extraordinarily valuable.