Nothing is more exciting for us than hearing about another Georgetown Alum taking the entrepreneurial plunge, so we were excited to sit down and chat with the newest member of the Georgetown entrepreneur community, Wesner Jules who has reached launched his social platform HoosThere.
1. YOUR BACKGROUND: DID YOU STUDY ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN COLLEGE? WHAT DID YOU DO POST COLLEGE AND HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA?
I was a Political Economy major & Chinese minor in college. When I graduated, I worked as a hedge fund trader, dealing with commodities and currencies. I’ve always had an interest in the markets and enjoyed the level of thinking and autonomy that came with hedge funds, so it seemed like the path for me at the time.
Hoosthere came about after I forgot to invite one of my best friends to my birthday dinner, and he asked me why. The truth is, my birthday is December 28th and I just assume if you’re not from the NYC area- you’re home for the holidays! That’s when I decided there needed to be a way to let your friends know what you’re up to that isn’t as difficult as reaching out to everyone individually. We needed a platform to play in the discovery space.
2. SO WHAT IS HOOSTHERE?
Hoosthere is the event hub for the people and things you care about! We allow you to discover your friends and venues/organizations you care about either by having their number, or looking up their handle. This removes all the noise we typically get by connecting with everyone on larger social platforms. On Hoosthere, you choose who to connect with!
The app is simple- there’s an event stream that shows you events people you follow have created or are attending, and a friends screen that shows you their status. Ever want to know who’s going out, staying in or just interested? That’s the friend screen! We have found it to be a powerful way to let everyone know what you’re up to and a great way to keep in touch with people we’d like to see but often slip our mind or you may not realize are in town.
3. WAS HOOSTHERE SOMETHING THAT YOU HAD BEEN THINKING ABOUT FOR A WHILE? DID YOU FEEL IT WAS FILLING A NEED? OR WAS IT SOMETHING YOU FELT THAT WAS BETTER THAN WHAT CURRENTLY EXISTS?
I’ve been thinking about Hoosthere since 2014 and can see the need it's filling. There have been others in the market that tried to solve these problems, but they rarely took human behavior and how humans actually want to stay in touch with others into account. In building Hoosthere, we made sure it’s as useful with a small group as it is with a large one- and that everyone can derive utility and joy from the platform.
4. WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST ASPECT OF TAKING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL PLUNGE? AND WHAT HAS BEEN MOST REWARDING?
There are many difficult aspects in terms of taking the plunge, but the most rewarding feeling has been building something you’re proud of and continuing to make progress. Every advancement made is due to your work, and that is certainly a rewarding experience.
5. WHAT'S NEXT WITH HOOSTHERE AND WHAT'S THE LONG-TERM VISION?
We’re beginning to grow and are excited for the opportunity to share our vision with the world. We have some exciting partnerships developing to bring value to both event goers & event hosts. This along with some other initiatives will create the event hub that people will leverage to not only figure out what their friends are doing, but what is going on in the world around them.
6. HOW CAN THE GEORGETOWN ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITY BE HELPFUL?
Georgetown has produced some incredible successes in the startup community. Access to that community, as well as ability to spread the word of new opportunities and products would be very helpful. Venturing Hoyas & GEA are great launching pads for a more interactive entrepreneurial community.