Steven Buchko, founder of Agora, experienced problems staying organized and communicating efficiently as a University of Florida student involved in multiple organizations. He started working on a solution after coming to that most entrepreneurial of conclusions – there's got to be a better way to do this.
"When I was at UF, I was the president of an honors organization and involved in a fraternity, in addition to several other groups and I was frustrated with how hard it was to stay organized with the communications from all the different groups," Buchko said. "I wanted to go about solving that problem so I worked with a developer to build out a prototype and I spoke with more than 100 leaders of organizations on campus and found it was a pretty common problem."
Agora wants to be the central location for all your groups' daily communications. "Our mission is to ensure group success through improved communications," Buchko explained. "We're focusing on student groups now because that's the market I know best and that market has a huge pain point not being addressed very well right now. All these organizations are using 5-10 apps to communicate amongst members. Agora takes all that functionality and places it in one app."
Buchko's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is don't delay and conduct extensive customer research. "Don't be afraid to just go out there and get started," he said. "I sometimes wonder where I'd be today if I had acted on my idea when I had it. I would be two years further down the road. Also, talk to as many people as possible about your idea. It’s one big misconception that you should keep your idea a secret. The pros of talking to other people and getting diverse feedback outweighs the very small risk someone might steal your idea and actually execute it better than you."