Student Entrepreneur: "Put yourself out there"

My name is Erica and I started XOXO Hint ( 

So many students here have brilliant business ideas, some that are executed and some that are not.  I’m here to tell you to risk failure and find that entrepreneurial spirit. There are many logistics that go into creating a business, but if you have a passion in it, you will find it addicting. 

How did I make XOXO Hint?  What resources did I use?  Anyone can create a start-up, all you need is drive and an idea.  However, what makes it better is having a whole campus to take advantage of.  I produced the site through a website-builder and designed the product on Adobe Illustrator.  Following that, I rented quality video equipment from Swem and recruited William & Mary students to be in my promotional video.  Working with them was a great experience, students here are more than happy to help!  After editing my pictures, video, and site, I launched it through Kickstarter, a crowd-funding site.  In just two and a half days, my campaign was more than 1/4th funded, and still has about a month to go. 

Students and others took well to XOXO Hint, which allows people to send friends anonymous, humorous “hints” to stop the million hashtags, 24/7 selfies or the lovey-dovey Facebook posts.  Basically, you can give the annoying users of social media a hint. At first, I was terrified to release what I had been working on, what if people didn’t like it?  Though, that’s when I realized what holds so many people back: fear of rejection and failure.  Does launching your business or hard work scare you?  Good.  If the idea doesn’t scare you, then you aren’t thinking big enough.  Look at what others are doing and do the opposite, be the person who creates something exceptional.  In fact, other students all around campus have the entrepreneurial bug.  Morgan Ferguson, Zeb Johnston, Aditya Singhal, Cory Blackburn and other students created start-ups such as Crescent Cube and Lyke Minded during 3-Day Startup.  William and Mary Alums also have been successful such as Ronak Patel with Code and Quill, and Todd Saunders with Sproose.  

Students, faculty, or anyone reading this, put yourself out there.  Don’t be filled with the regret of not pursuing something.  Besides, the people who have made it are also the people who have failed many times before.  It’s a learning experience where knowledge and connections are gained along the way.