After a week spent prototyping and iterating her app idea, Erin Hallerin is using her new technical skills to become a more well-rounded social entrepreneur. She is one of our younger alumni, but still participated in the winter Tech Intensive in Sydney after an inspiring visit to the New York campus with her classmates from The Ohio State University. Now, back at college, Erin is working with a social impact-focused food truck and making plans for the summer while finishing her studies in Business Administration/Finance and International Economic Development.
“The Tech Intensive creates an environment of inspiration and dedication to inspire you to act on whatever business idea has been floating around in your brain with the help of the best brains in the industry.”
How did you learn about the Tech Intensive and why did you enroll?
I visited NYC with OSU’s Innovation, Creativity, & Entrepreneurship Scholars Program and did a site visit to General Assembly where they encouraged us to apply. Family and friends were quick to be supportive of pursuing the education the program offered in addition to traveling to Australia and gaining that global experience.
Tell us more about your social entrepreneurship experience.
With a team from Dayton, Ohio I wrote my first business plan in 11th grade. It involved certifying restaurants as smarter choices in exchange for donation of funds towards mitigating world food scarcity. The mentors and experience I gained along the way led to a continued excitement for using business to have social impact. From there, I decided on Ohio State because of the existing Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit team that I could be a part of.
What idea did you develop during the Tech Intensive?
On the flight there, I read about startup theories and methods, and realized that there are copious amounts of information about entrepreneurship out there, but it takes time to sift through and find valid content. So, I worked on an app that clarifies what an aspiring entrepreneur needs to know into a gamified system of ever-growing profiles and mentors.
What was your biggest challenge with prototyping and iterating your app?
I have very little experience with the technical side of things, so I bootstrapped my way through enough of a wireframe to get my idea across. Content creation and structuring profile creation have proven to be the biggest challenges.
Have you thought about what you want to do after college?
I am considering Venture For America, continuing full-time from prior internships, or starting my own social enterprise. For now, I’m doing my best to not be pigeon-holed, and to learn as much as possible from those around me.
How would you pitch the Tech Intensive to students who haven’t visited a GA campus?
The Tech Intensive creates an environment of inspiration and dedication to inspire you to act on whatever business idea has been floating around in your brain with the help of the best brains in the industry.
Who is your favorite teacher and why?
There have been a hundred in school, and thousands outside of school that have taught me academic and life lessons. To be fair, I can’t choose. I’ve been blessed by having people in my life that take the time to answer my questions and explain the way things are, while empowering me to challenge that with the way I think things should be.
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