OxHustlers-Entrepreneurs Making an Impact

In light of National Entrepreneurship Week, OxVentures is proud to present OxHustlers — a series that features student entrepreneurs at Oxford College, highlighting their start-up experiences on a small campus.

Payton Chin created his business “DancEZ” during the 2018 HackATL competition. Chin, along with his partners Tiffany Chen and Yvonne Teng, saw the need for an app that could assist them with editing their dance videos. An avid dancer himself, Chin saw the need for an app that could make watching and editing dance videos more efficient.

After taking 1st place at HackATL, Chin is currently working to bring his vision to life in the app store. In the future, he hopes to turn the app into a multi-media arts app that anyone can use to fuel their creativity. When giving advice to future entrepreneurs, Chin says to get involved with something personal to yourself. If you do so, you can be fully invested in the journey.

— Payton Chin (Marietta, GA) Co-Founder, DancEZ

Onyia first became involved with foreign exchange trading after a friend approached him about the concept. Three years after researching, trading, and being involved with the foreign currency markets, Onyia discovered he can introduce forex trading to other people.

His business structure consists of individuals who have opened accounts to trade, and they receive tips and trading advice from Onyia, who in turns receives a percentage of the profit as commission. On a daily basis, Onyia must manage the brokerage accounts, ensuring that funds are properly dispersed, and keep up with the financial markets. Ultimately, Onyia recommends that aspiring entrepreneurs have the resilience to rebound from adverse situations and that they are diligent as they seek to enrich and add value to the lives of their customers.

“Most influential person for my startup? Honestly, just myself. As conceited as it sounds, there is no one who’s been on this ride with me besides myself and I. Well, maybe my friend from Nigeria who told me about forex. Also, I would say, being able to bounce back is most important. I can’t even tell you how many days I was beating myself down because of how much money I’ve lost in the market, especially with one trade. As a trader, there’s gonna be ups and downs so you have to be resilient.”

— Chike Onyia (Lagos, Nigeria/ LA, California) ForEx Trading

Serial entrepreneur Alex Mo is a man of many projects. His most current, C41 Labs, looks to disrupt the peer to peer film camera market. His most widely known project, Side Project Design Studios, is an up and coming name in the streetwear scene.

“Side Project began as just that, a side project. At home now, people recognize Side as not just tees and hoodies, but a group of friends spreading a lifestyle. That’s what we’re working into everything we do. Bringing that energy and everyone’s input into one collaborative company. The hoodies and clothes are only the final product of this project that captures our lives in California. StreetWear Official called me the other day — Side Project has had the sales performance on par with Supreme and Champion in their LA stores. Safe to say we secured the bag.”

With his new project C41, Mo is not content with merely making a marketplace. He wants to build a community for film aficionados. In addition to providing artists with a medium to share their work, the platform will bridge the gap between the masters of the art and the common hobbyist and serve as a medium for artists to share instruction. According to Mo, the early stages of the project’s development are quite slow, but his team isn’t alarmed and looks to adopt growth models followed by the secondary car and handbag markets.

— Alex Mo (Saratoga, CA)- Founder, Side Project Design Studios, C41 Labs

“Use five words to describe Boba Boys.”

Riya: “Chaotic!” Anthony: “Fun.” Zahra: “Yummie.” Riya: “Small.”

*All three nod in agreement*: ”Yeah, small.”

Anthony: “I don’t know…business?”

Zahra: “No…~revolutionary~.”

After the death of Phat Panda, there was a thirst to be quenched. Enter Boba Boys. Concocting in the Fleming Kitchen and distributing in Candler, Boba Boys appears to be a well-oiled machine. In the executive quintet, Riya Kalra manages the finances, Zahra Adamjee orchestrates the supply chain, and co-founder Anthony Jeler oversees day to day operations. The biggest challenge is keeping up with demand. Boba Boys went from selling 15 cups a night to 50 cups a night and still manages to sell out. The group looks to reach a larger audience through advertising and collaborations with clubs.

“Right now, there’s no competition. We run the market at Oxford, really. There should be more people driving to pursue their own business ideas. We’re honestly not scared of other people starting their version of “Boba Boys” on campus — it actually makes things so much more interesting if people started doing that.”

— Riya Kalra (Phoenix, AZ), Zahra Adamjee (Boston, MA), Anthony Jeler (Portland, OR) — Boba Boys

Vig Viswanath is not your typical pre-med. Mental health issues are ever present on college campuses across the nation, but access to resources is an issue in of itself. At larger campuses, students wait as long as eight weeks to meet with counselors. Even at small campuses like Oxford, students are waiting as long as two weeks. Viswanath hopes to increase access to counselors on Reach, an online platform connecting students with counselors through video calls and chat rooms.

“A lot of people have had to take care of their mental health at some point in their lives. You know it’s an issue, but you don’t critically analyze it until it somehow affects you. So when I had that personal connection with a friend of mine who was going through these things, it really motivated me to look into what I could do about it.

REACH is still in the early stages right now. Essentially, it is a business that helps streamline mental health services to college students online, with features such as online video or voice chats with therapists as well as chat rooms so you can have student support that doesn’t necessarily need to be in person. You’ll also be able to access these services without anyone ever tracing their identity, so it really encourages students who need help to seek help.

“If I had to classify myself, I’m on a pre-med track, but a lot of people think they have to take financial and go to b-school in order to pursue entrepreneurship. That’s definitely useful, but you can also take whatever knowledge you’re acquiring in whatever major you have and apply that to business. No matter how stupid and how dumb you think your ideas are, they definitely aren’t. You’ll never know until you try it.”

— Vignesh Viswanath (Chandler, Arizona) Founder of REACH

Entrepreneurship isn’t only for coders in Silicon Valley. You don’t even have to be in Atlanta to be an entrepreneur. Though Oxford is a small town far away from the big city, its got big ideas.

Written By: OxVentures | IQ Magazine

Emory Entrepreneurship & Venture Management’s online magazine featuring entrepreneurial news from students, professors, and exec!