09/17/2020

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SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

How Do You Bring a Smart Pill Bottle to Life? A Startup Founder Explains

In our #SoFiStartups Q&A series, SoFi co-founder Dan Macklin sits down with startup founders who have gone through the SoFi Entrepreneur Program, where we offer mentorship, access to investors, and student loan deferment for founders of young startups. In a candid conversation, he speaks from one entrepreneur to another about their experiences founding a company.

Medications can improve the quality of your life—when you remember to take them, that is. This is the insight at the heart of Pillsy, a smart pill bottle that syncs wirelessly to your phone and beeps when you forget a dose. The set-up lends an effortless, tech-assisted hand to help you keep track of your vitamins and medications.

But if this solution sounds deceptively simple, that’s because it is. In fact, it took the Seattle-based startup two years to get to where they are today, on the verge of launching their product. Challenges like manufacturing cost-effective hardware, wrestling with Bluetooth, and developing a user-friendly format didn’t make Pillsy easy to bring to life. As co-founder Otto Sipe describes the process, “It was long and there were a lot of rewrites along the way. Along the lines of—Oh, this is completely not going to work.

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SoFi Entrepreneur Program Member Ben Silverman of Edenworks

#SoFiStartups: How This Cofounder Transformed His Passion for Food and Design into One of NYC’s Hottest Startups

SoFi supports entrepreneurship and startups through our Entrepreneur Program, which provides members with networking, mentorship, and an opportunity to defer their student loans. Our #SoFiStartups series profiles members who participate in the program, highlights the ups and downs of their entrepreneurship journey, and offers advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs.

With a background in architecture and engineering, SoFi member Ben Silverman spent the early part of his career designing building facades that were highly energy efficient. But his interest in sustainability soon extended past structures and into another one of his passions—food.

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SoFi member spotlight on Elien Becque, founder of RoomZoom

How Elien Blue Becque Made Co-Living a Lot Less Awkward

Name: Elien Blue Becque

Age: 30

Location: New York, New York

Business: RoomZoom

Business Goal: To help young urbanites find roommates they’ll love sharing space with

Alma mater: Graduated in 2008 with a degree in International Relations with a minor in English from Tufts

Student loan debt: $85,000

SoFi Solution: Student loan refinancing

Entrepreneur member since: 2016

Elien Blue Becque is the founder of RoomZoom, a platform that does for co-living what OkCupid and Tinder do for dating. RoomZoom asks members questions about their lifestyle, personal habits, and general conduct, and grinds those answers through an algorithmic scoring system. The scores are then used to pair up compatible people who will make awesome roommates.

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SoFi Q&A with SnappyScreen COO on Product Design

How SnappyScreen’s Product Design Revolutionized Sunscreen: Q&A with MBA Grad and Entrepreneur Member Katelyn McClellan

SnappyScreen is a touchless sunscreen application system. You select your protection level (SPF) and height, step into a booth, and SnappyScreen applies a head-to-toe protective coating in about 10 seconds. The sunscreen is oxybenzone-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free and does not damage your bathing suit. It’s a slick and sought after product—one that can now be found at 4- and 5-star hotels across the U.S., in locations such as Florida, Hawaii, and California, and in such exotic locales as Aruba. Before the final launch, entrepreneurial sisters Kristen McClellan (founder and CEO) and Katelyn McClellan (COO) built several prototypes to refine the product and make the experience smooth and easy.

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#SoFiStartups with Upkey co-founders

#SoFiStartups: Upkey—Reinventing the College Job Search

For any startup to succeed, it takes talent, intelligence, hard work, and a love of innovation. It also helps to be connected—to have people looking out for you, especially when you’re on your way up and in need of that first big break. SoFi Entrepreneur Program member Mark Pawloski started Upkey with friends Mo Bitar and Amir Badr to help college students who didn’t come from elite backgrounds get noticed by more elite employers.

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