August Orser ’24

Williams Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship

This summer I had the pleasure of attending the Williams College Institute for Entrepreneurship (WSIE). During this course, my partner, Andrew Lee, and I had the opportunity to develop an idea we had. Although our concept grew into a social media platform for sharing people’s tastes in music, it started as something completely different. Our original idea was to create a universal bike lock that was entirely functional through an iPhone. During the beginning stages of that project, we were open to other ideas, and with some more brainstorming, we both realized that we were much more passionate about our current project.

Before starting work on our project, we familiarized ourselves with different software that would help us organize our work. We worked first with Asana, a software to help organize and assign work that we needed to complete. We then worked with Slack as our primary means of communicating and organizing different conversations. Both applications aided our transition from simply discussing potential ideas to organizing a plan for how to implement them into our app. We spent a lot of our time interviewing Williams alumni on how to go about starting a company, the challenges, things to look out for, etc. Initially, our idea was much more ambitious and too complex; we had so many different ideas for all the various aspects of the app. Because of our interviews with Williams alumni, we streamlined our app, only keeping what was absolutely necessary. The other ideas were either tossed on the back burner or installed in later updates. Once we slimmed down our app, we started to see how this could be something real.

I think my biggest takeaway from this program and this project is that I want to create in whatever I do after college. I love working on something I am passionate about. When we were working on the bike lock, it felt like everyday work, but once we started an app that shares people’s music tastes, it didn’t feel like work at all. We spent much more time working on the project and constantly thought and talked about it in our free time. Back at Williams, Andrew and I will continue to chip away at this project; we both plan to complete different business courses during the year to help excel on the business side of our venture. I speak only for myself but with Andrew in mind when I say we are creators and want to continue to create. This program laid the foundations for us to continue working on these ideas and other ideas in the future. We were given the tools and resources to work on any project or any idea that we have. I cannot thank Mr. and Mrs. Case and WSIE enough for supporting me this summer. It has not only allowed me to pursue this idea I’m passionate about but has taught me so much about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ventures.