Students are now able to get ahead of the curve instead of jumping on the bandwagon.
Today marks the official release of LaunchQuad, a website that gives information about Penn affiliated startups. The site, which also lists job openings, currently has 14 member companies and counting.
LaunchQuad’s founder, Wharton sophomore David Greenstein , conceived of the idea for LaunchQuad while at Penn. When researching on-campus startup companies a few months ago, Greenstein was surprised at the number of student and alumni ventures he had not yet heard about. He realized that simply asking around about for information was inefficient, and his efforts would only solve the problem for himself.
“While Penn has finance very well down, it’s less so with entrepreneurship,” Greenstein said. For this reason, LaunchQuad aims to bridge the gaps between the different schools at Penn, graduate and undergraduate students and between students and alumni.
Though most student entrepreneurs use Facebook to advertise their ventures, Greenstein believes that Facebook alone is inadequate. The typical audience is limited to about 1,000 to 1,500 friends out of 20,000 Penn students. LaunchQuad, which hopes to expand to other universities, will have a much larger and more diverse user base. LaunchQuad is expected to expand to Northwestern University in two weeks .
“LaunchQuad solves a major need for student entrepreneurs — it will allow them to connect with each other, find the resources they need on campus and better reach their outcomes,” said junior Karan Hiremath, head of the Entrepreneurship and Jobs Committee at the Dining Philosophers and Wharton and Engineering.
LaunchQuad also lists available job positions at startups, and provides an internal messaging system and Facebook-type page.
“Alumni companies want to hire students,” Greenstein said. “In reaching out to alumni companies, I’ve found out how powerful just reaching out from Wharton or Penn is.”
With the growing prominence of emerging startup companies, Greenstein believes that now is the perfect time to launch his site.
“If I tried to start this 10 years ago, there’d be nothing on [LaunchQuad]. If I tried to start this 10 years from now, it would probably be too late,” he said.
In the future, LaunchQuad will feature a “company newsfeed” with exclusive blog posts written by successful entrepreneurs, a “jobs feed” and a page providing resources — in design, coding, marketing — for startups. Greenstein also plans to bring on at least 100 companies at Penn from all entrepreneurship verticals.
“I wanted to add as much diversity as possible,” he added.
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