There are few things that college students enjoy more than parties and discounts, and student entrepreneurs at the 5Cs have set out to address both of these desires.
Student-led entrepreneurship has led to the creation of Event Claremont, a website to help publicize Claremont events, and the Legends Card, which provides discounts to college students at participating businesses.
In 2011, Brian Fung PO ’13 released Event Pomona, a website initially intended to compile social events at Pomona College.
“During my first few years here, I never saw any one centralized location for events. Everything was very scattered,” Fung said. “Since I found there was no event calendar for Pomona, I thought I’d try making one.”
After the site was developed, Fung received requests to add events outside of social gatherings, eventually turning the site into a repository for all campus events.
Last semester, in response to growing interest in expanding the site to the other 5Cs, Fung teamed up with Darrell Jones III PO ’14 and Josh Rael CM ’14 to create the new Event Claremont website, eventclaremont.com.
Jones said their goal was to create a “great tool for all of the schools and all of the event-planning committees.”
As the new site, which was released this semester, begins to gain traction at each college, Jones believes the experience will become more inclusive and complete.
“This is a resource that becomes more effective as users increase,” Jones said.
Fung intends to continue assisting with the site’s development after graduation until each school’s student government can take over operation of the site.
“We hope to eventually incorporate this into the first-year orientation experience across the 5Cs so it becomes habitual,” Jones said.
With time, Jones hopes that Event Claremont will become an “event version of the 5C menu.” The Five-College Menu is a web feature developed by Michael Maltese PO ’14 that compiles menu listings from the five Claremont Colleges’ dining services websites so that students can weigh their options without having to visit each individual webpage.
For now, Fung, Jones, and Rael have been working with Sophy Cohen PZ ’13 on further developing the site into a centralized hub of events and event information. Cohen has been working on a similar but differently targeted website, designed to facilitate discussion about events.
Eventually, the goal is to fuse the two websites, creating an experience that covers everything from a quick glance to an in-depth discussion of an event. Until then, Jones is happy with where the site is going and is excited to hear more feedback from students.
“To be an entrepreneur, you need to not only accept critique. You need to love it and crave it,” Jones said.
In a different manifestation of student-led entrepreneurship, Jesse Medina PO ’15 founded the Claremont branch of the Legends Card, a service that provides various discounts to college students for a yearly membership fee. Medina and four of his friends from high school had been working on establishing the Legends Card at the University of Michigan and Indiana University, and this semester, Medina brought the business to Claremont.
Medina has been working with businesses in the Claremont Village and the surrounding area to secure discounts for the Legends Card. Medina already has secured deals with 21 Choices, Liquor Land, The Coffee Bean, and Wolfe’s Market, among others, but he said the work is difficult.
“It’s a grind. It’s lonely. It’s hard, but it’s very satisfying,” Medina said.
With the Michigan and Indiana branches of the business already gaining momentum, Medina and his friends hope to expand to other California schools like the University of Southern California.
“Going to different schools would be a dream. We already have some friends at other schools, too,” Medina said.
Medina has also been working on developing the Legends Card business into a brand, complete with its own iPhone app and website, with the hope that the brand will eventually take off.
Medina also has founded Legendary Entrepreneurs, a 5C organization. His goal is to give the Legends Card business a nonprofit twist. Legendary Entrepreneurs hopes to provide any student, for whatever reason, the means to make money by selling Legends Cards and getting a cut of the profit.
“Maybe they’re underprivileged, or maybe they don’t have time for a work study, or maybe they’re already part of an organization that’s having a hard time fundraising. I want to make that easier for any of those people,” Medina said.
Nourish International and Building Leaders on Campus have already been working with Medina, using Legendary Entrepreneurs as a new way of fundraising for their organizations.
“I want to extend my hand to anyone that can benefit,” Medina said. “I don’t want to keep this to myself. It’s all about mutual benefit.”