Paco Wong’s vision for IU app

Kacey Wood, a Shoemaker Scholar, sat down with Paco Wong in September to talk about combining entrepreneurship while being an undergraduate student. Read more below!

Product/Service/Etc:  

Upcoming IU Mobile app

Year and Major:

Junior; Marketing, Tech Management, and Informatics

What is your personal story?

Like a lot of IU students, I found out that information in IU is very dispersed and hard to find. For example, I would never know when the dining halls are open unless I go to the RPS website. This was the same for buses, laundry, classes and more. Since I’ve done programming in high school, I decided to start coding an “IU app” as a personal project. When I met with the UX Officer at IU to see where I could get this app to go, he hired me to work for them on the app. Now, I work at the UX Office on multiple projects

What entrepreneurial or innovative business or project are you currently working on?

My biggest project right now is with the UX Office, where I do research and design for a lot of tools in IU. One of the projects that I’m working on is a series of Design System Research, where I research about different UX elements and patterns, and this will inform decisions about an upcoming IU website redesign!

How did you get here?

I think learning how to code was the best decision that I’ve done in my life. I really liked design before going into programming, and now with my design and programming skills

Could you elaborate on the work you have done for IU app? How did you get involved in the space?

The app is now worked on by different teams within IU, and they are working on many more features that I worked on. When I created the app, it had bus schedules and ETAs of the individual buses and stations, the opening hours of dining halls, a map of IU buildings with building codes, the athletics schedule and more.

What has been the most useful entrepreneurial resource or experience at the university?

Case competitions that I’ve worked on are probably the most useful entrepreneurial experience in the University. Although most of them are “simulated”, I’ve gained so much friendship, entrepreneurial skills, and critical thinking skills.

What has been the most useful entrepreneurial resource or experience outside of the University?

Every year, I go to tech startup conferences. In Bloomington, there is a conference called The Combine, which is 3 days of workshops, field trips, and talks about technology, entrepreneurship, and venture capitals. I’ve been there the past two years and it was always a fun and inspiring experience!

What’s was your favorite failure or learning experience?

My English wasn’t good when I was in 9th grade. I was writing a tech blog at that time, and I distinctly remember a classmate calling out my English. After that, I decided to focus on improving my English to prove him wrong.

What’s the best advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?

This relates to that story before. One of the most influential advice I got was to persist and prove them wrong when someone says “no” to you.

Where can people find you?

Feel free to connect with me through LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/paco-wong

My email is pacowong@me.com