The story of our company, VentureStorm, dates back to winter break sophomore year – and it’s been quite the experience to say the least.
I really want to share the ride we’ve been on these past few years. There have been plenty of struggles, success, and everything in between; but by the time you’re done reading this, I hope I’ve inspired you to at least attempt something outside the status quo and to accomplish something magnificent.
I guess I’ll start with that – the desire to be different and not just follow the norm. There’s something that never made sense to me about dedicating nearly two decades of your life on education, only to utilize your knowledge and expertise by working for someone else and growing their wealth. That’s one of my inspirations behind both wanting to be an entrepreneur and growing VentureStorm (but we’ll get to that in a minute). Being an entrepreneur, there are no ceilings. Being an entrepreneur allows you to take something you are passionate about and build a business around it, innovate an industry or product, and hopefully change the world. Of course there’s the realization of risk and failure, but if you’re a young student without a spouse and kids, without a mortgage, without anything to lose – does the risk really outweigh the possible rewards?
The story all begins a few years back while taking an online entrepreneurship course over winter break. We came up with an awesome concept for a music discovery mobile app, and the passion behind the idea really began to grow. We ended up writing an extensive business plan, creating screenshots, and buying the web domain as we began to seriously pursue the venture; however, none of us had experience in developing a mobile application at the time, and our motivation began to wither.
We spent months exhausting our networks for a viable developer to work on our app with little to no success. Being involved with several entrepreneurship programs at the University of Maryland, we witnessed countless other aspiring entrepreneurs fail to bring their idea to life due to a lack of technical skills as well. There is an abundance of entrepreneurs with great ideas and distinguished backgrounds in business, marketing, psychology, etc.; however, often times they lack the necessary programming and development skills to bring their venture to life.
There is also an abundance of talented student developers hungry to build astonishing mobile and web applications – but the disconnect between the two parties is bewildering.
VentureStorm is a web application that connects aspiring entrepreneurs to talented student developers within proximity. Think of it as a combination between a freelance marketplace and matchmaking site to find a technical co-founder (if that’s what you’re looking for). Our platform allows entrepreneurs in need of technical assistance to post their project or current venture free of charge, and specify what they are looking for. VentureStorm also provides opportunities for student developers to apply what they learn in the classroom and gain real-world experience, build their resume, earn money/equity, and co-found technical startups while in college.
There are so many brilliant yet simple ideas which, who knows, may go on to revolutionize an entire industry (think Uber). Unfortunately many of these ideas, remain just that – ideas. Imagine the amazing things we could accomplish if more of these ideas entered the market as successful ventures. Imagine being able to pursue your own venture and co-found technical startups, rather than building a resume to pursue the ideas of others.
I have been unbelievably lucky to come across several others that share the same passion and entrepreneurial vision as myself, and even luckier to currently call them my teammates/business partners. Over the past few years we have transformed VentureStorm from a side project into a scalable business with thousands of users relying on our platform to build their venture.
Personally I have grown tremendously through my experiences working with VentureStorm. You could register for every entrepreneurship class on campus, but nothing truly prepares you for the reality of just getting out there and doing it.
From learning how to code, to understanding the legal necessities of creating a business, networking with people in all sorts of industries, leveraging new technologies to build our platform, marketing and creating a brand, traveling and sponsoring events around the country, public speaking, and even writing blog pieces like the one you’re reading right now; the experiences and skills I’ve obtained are invaluable.
So whether you are a student developer looking to gain experience, make some money, and potentially be a technical co-founder for the next big startup, or you’re an ambitious entrepreneur looking to change the world; maybe VentureStorm can help you achieve your dreams. Just know the only thing standing in between your dreams and your reality is you.