The Entrepreneurship@Dyson team likes to talk about “lemonade stand” stories – people’s first exploration of entrepreneurship, often through selling something small to family and friends at a young age. Telling these stories establishes a shared sense of entrepreneurship, regardless of whether team members are currently pursuing business ideas. Some people sell lemonade or snacks on street corners, while others participate in organized youth entrepreneurship efforts through Junior Achievement or Girl Scouts. Organizations hope this early exposure to entrepreneurship create interests and skills that last into adulthood.
Christopher Rodriguez exudes this entrepreneurial spirit. As a child he sold address labels he created himself to family and friends, and in college when he discovered many students enjoyed his father’s banana bread, he sold that too. However, Chris never thought about entrepreneurship as a career until college. John Belina, a retired professor of engineering, encouraged Chris to pursue entrepreneurship and suggested related conferences and organizations.
Currently Chris is working on a project called Liquify, a “personal financial management platform that helps users track their spending and create budgets.” His first conception of the idea came as a freshman at Cornell while riding the TCAT, where he saw riders fumble with cash and coins to pay for their fares. “There has be be a better way to pay,” Chris thought.
While Liquify is in the ideation phase, Chris envisions a platform where users will be able to, in addition to managing their budgets and expenses,“pay their bills, friends, and stores; and give personalized suggestions based on their preferences, unique situation, and history. His end goal is to create a “one-stop-shop platform for personal financial management and services.” Chris credits the financial accounting class he took at Cornell as a fundamental piece in his interest in financial management. He plans to create a platform where users track their expenses, but also receive smart, tailored notifications and advising within the platform.
Liquify is a project Chris is pursuing after he graduates this spring. While studying abroad in Oxford, he worked on the idea with an MBA student. Currently, Liquify is a project he pursues with friends from his hometown of Brownsville, Texas. “Over breaks, we get together and brainstorm,” he explained. As a government and economics double major, Chris is also interested in politics, and he will be working as a campaign consultant. Creating and bringing ideas to market fuels Chris’ entrepreneurial spirit, and he is looking toward the future of personal finance with optimistic eyes.
If you are interested in learning more about Liquify or helping to work on this idea with Chris, through working further on the business model, helping to create a prototype, or through any way you feel you can contribute, please reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.