So, you’re the first in your family to go to college?
I was part of a program called Summer Bridge in which we got to stay on campus the summer before, and they took us around to the different departments and that’s where I learned that I had to apply to Kenan-Flagler.
Where did you get the idea for ANTE?
It was my sophomore year at college, and I was planning that summer to go study abroad in China. And then the Coronavirus hit, so I definitely couldn’t go to China. There’s a program called Launch Chapel Hill that’s at my school, and they give you $5,000 worth of funding, and they help you work on your own business. I remember taking business analytics classes at Kenan-Flagler saying, ‘Why can’t we solve some of the problems for small businesses that we’re doing right now?’ And that’s really where the idea formed.
I applied to Launch Chapel Hill and another campus accelerator called Cube, which is about social innovation, and I was super surprised that I got into both.
So, I started doing both accelerator programs and working on ANTE, doing a lot of customer discovery and trying to figure out what business owners need. I saw that there could be a potential to help business owners see where their cash flow is going, and be able to bring analytics into that too.
So will this be a digital platform businesses can input their data into?
I’m hoping for it to be a digital platform in which they can integrate it into other systems that they’re working with.
How did the startup labs help in the development of your business?
The launch is, I think, 10 weeks during the summer. There are workshops almost every day to learn about some aspect of business from an expert. Every Friday we would have pitches in which we’d pitch to investors, and we’d get ready for the demo day at the end of the program. And there was a great community of people who would help you while you’re working on your business and who would give advice and mentorship. There was a community of startup founders who you could bounce ideas off of, and who were all doing really great things. So I did Launch that summer, then I came back and I did it again the spring of my senior year.
The other program is the Campus Y Cube, and it is really focused on social innovation and making a change through business. That one is a year-long program. They had workshops to help us think about being a social venture. We got to do a lot of collaborative teamwork, and we had to do pitches as well. And it helped us get access to funding and also more exposure. That’s one of the greatest things about Launch and Cube is they give you exposure, and people learn more about the projects you’re working on.
And what are you doing now with ANTE?
Right now, I am working on programming, getting the software up and running, and getting to the testing phase. I have an estimated timeline of six months to a year for that.
I’m working to make sure that the software that I’m building is right for the target market. I’m also working with potential customers to ensure we’re building something that’s exactly what they need. So a lot of meetings with actual owners of businesses, a lot of programming.
How might a customer use this software?
Let’s say you’re a person who owns a restaurant. You have a point of sale system, you have another system for inventory, you have another system to manage your cash flow. What we would do is connect all of the systems and show you what you were spending money on, and how much, and what changes can be made over time.
What are your longer-term career goals?
I want to be the greatest entrepreneur to ever live. (Laughs)
Right now, I’m working for Oracle NetSuite in sales, and I’m also working on Ante and another startup that I just started around relationships and wellness.