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It’s Thursday, July 15, 2021, and this week’s founder is Soo Jung Han.
Soo Jung’s Story
Dipping her toes into a thousand pools
When we think of an entrepreneur, we often think of a business expert who set out to build their own company. Sometimes an engineer makes a product and sets up a company around it. In today’s world, that’s easier than ever.
But Soo Jung wasn’t either of these. She studied psychology at the University of Southern California (USC). This isn’t a detriment to her at all - Soo Jung understands the way people think. With that expertise, she has set out to build companies around helping others.
Since her early years, Soo Jung has been interested in a wide variety of people and ideas. After graduation, Soo Jung worked in a variety of roles. Most of them were unrelated, sticking right on theme with her varied interests. Several were NonProfit roles, one was at a tech startup, another was a digital marketing job. About five years ago, Soo Jung moved to Seoul, South Korea, and is working there now.
Soo Jung joined On Deck’s NoCode Fellowship in winter 2021. She used Bubble to build out an app called EduKate, designed to connect tutors and students. After the fellowship, Soo Jung decided to go a different route, but the experience taught her enough about building and connecting with her customers to springboard her into the next venture.
Soo Jung’s current company, BrightOn, has been something she’s been planning for a decade. She first talked with friends at USC about making their little events mean more by giving to charity.
For example, friends will throw birthday parties for each other. Many times, however, they can’t afford big, flashy gifts, and they want to share something meaningful in celebration. With BrightOn, they could set up a giving page and would have people sign up and donate, then show up at the event, celebrate like normal, and then head home.
BrightOn is still in development, but you can visit the site to see how it’s coming along. Soo Jung updates us regularly on Twitter, and would love some early testers when BrightOn is ready for that stage. Let us know in the comments how you’d like to use it (you can just reply to the email if you read it there!).
Soo Jung’s Advice
Take advantage of all the different tools enabling creators! You can utilize Twitch or Youtube to build an audience. Twitter connects you with tons of bright minds.
Find a mentor (or mentors!). Soo Jung doesn’t have a solo mentor, but rather reaches out to and learns from a ton of people. Variety is her gig. It might be yours too!
You can connect with Soo Jung on Twitter as @soojungish_. Check out her podcast as well, where she interviews leaders at the intersection of technology and social good. The Social Good Podcast is available on Spotify.
I truly enjoy interviewing creators like Soo Jung, who are so early in their journey. She doesn’t have a working MVP yet, but I could hear the passion in her voice during our conversation. She believes in creating opportunities for people to come together in their everyday lives to support charities and other worthy endeavors. I can see this being useful in ways far beyond just buying ice cream to support the local Boys and Girls Club.
If you know of others who are building similar things, I’d love to hear about them. As always, feel free to reach out to me on here through the comments, on Twitter, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.