TJ Caveney, CSOM ’18, created Linkle when he saw entrepreneurs had great ideas for businesses, but couldn’t find coders to put their ideas into practice.
“My friends would usually hit a dead end in the process, and their ideas never became real,” Caveney said.
Linkle seeks to connect college-aged entrepreneurs to students with programming talent. Caveney saw the need for the website when discussing business apps with friends who didn’t have the skills to program them.
This fall, Boston College added a concentration in Entrepreneurship for Carroll School of Management students, and launched the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship. “It’s a huge trend that we’re seeing on college campuses,” Caveney said. “Students are embracing the startup culture.”
The name “Linkle” stems from the concept—to bridge the gap between the two different groups of college students whose skills complement one another. On Linkle, entrepreneurs can seek out coders that list themselves on the website. Coders create a profile using a questionnaire that asks for the student’s name, email, university, class year, and skill levels of various programming languages.
“The mission is to connect students who know how to code, but have ideas for apps or websites,” Caveney said. The profile questions all revolve around web, iPhone, and Android app development, which are the areas most startups are in, he explained.
Caveney began working on the website this past spring, and recently launched the site at eight universities, including BC. Linkle also provides resources on how to start a business from its blog. By connecting entrepreneurs with coders, it will allow students to save time and money when finding a potential developer. “Finding someone who knows how to code with similar interests can be pretty hard, and I thought this would be a great solution,” Caveney said.
Caveney leveraged his programming skills that he learned from a Computer Science in Management class to make his idea a reality. Linkle features eight universities across the United States: BC, Penn State, The University of Oklahoma, University of Illinois, Georgia Tech, Kansas State University, University of California Los Angeles, and The University of Kansas.
Linkle hopes to gain exposure on these campuses by marketing its product to various entrepreneurship and computer science clubs at the eight schools.
“These schools have the same goals as us—they want to see startups thrive on their campus,” Caveney said.
He believes that the profile on Linkle provides clarity between what entrepreneurs want, and it allows coders to market their talents on campus. Currently there’s a lot of interest in this at large engineering schools, Caveney explained.
Caveney is currently focused on getting as many users onto the platform. “The challenge is really just getting users onto the site—because without users, the concept doesn’t really work,” he said. Caveney is also working to promote Linkle on social media by sharing recent news about college startups across the country. The app features a scrollbar of social media related to each university’s startup community.
While Caveney is focusing on the college demographic, he did not rule out the possibility of opening Linkle to startups in the future to recruit talent. He hopes to add more services and resources to Linkle as the user base grows and more universities are added.
“After we master the platform on college campuses, there’s definitely potential to expand out of the college space,” he said.
Featured Image by Francisco Ruela / Heights Graphic