Student entrepreneurs plot graphs for success
Drawing endless of graphs in his math classes was what made Ron Chinitz, former student at Santa Monica College, come up with the idea of Coordimate. But the day his favorite professor, Don Murray, took 5 minutes from class to give a short speech about the importance of being precise in graphing, his decision was solidified. “I was like 'Okay, this is a good idea,'” Chinitz said. “When I started studying here [at SMC] I was pretty set on investment banking. I thought that would be a good fit for me and so I knew I would either major in business or economics,“ Chinitz said. But after being inspired to create something that could benefit both students as well as professors, he slowly drifted away from that gaol and focused more on starting his own company.
“The idea was pretty simple. While doing homework I was drawing endless graphs, just the X and Y graph, and what I was looking for was a tool that would just allow me o do it with a push of a button,” he said. “It's a small task but it becomes tedious after you do a hundreds of them over a semester, a thousands over a year.”
He shortly partnered up with a 2 friends to make his vision reality.
In November 2013, while Chinitz was still attending SMC, Coordimate had raised enough capital to finance a trip to China where they looked for factories to produce their prototype. Based on the research Chinitz did at SMC they eventually came up a final product.
Next step was to launch the product so they decided to start a Kickstarter campaign for Coordimate. At the same time Chinitz linked up with Assaf Labi who became their “face out there on the field” as Chinitz asked him to join the team and handle sales and customer relations for Coordimate.
“I liked that it simplified that step for everybody and it doesn't only help the students, it also makes it more clear and efficient for the teachers now when they don't have to deal with all these sloppy graphs,” Labi said. “It gives students more time to actually focus on doing the problem rather than drawing graphs wasting an extra 2-3 minutes every time.”
The stamp is made of quick drying ink so it won't smudge in case you make any mistakes and you want to redo it. “Basically we are about to kick the rules ass,” Labi added.
Their long term goal is to find solutions to problems that are fairly common as well as simple to solve but that haven't been appropriately addressed yet. “We think there's a lot of ideas like that out there and from our experience, as younger people and me as a student, we also believe that there a lot of ideas out there in peoples minds that never even leave the round of their own head,” Chinitz said.
Even though the product is fairly new on the market they already have big plans for the future as want their company to become a firm for anyone that has an idea but don't know how to take the first step. “They'll be able to submit their idea and if there is an opportunity there and if we feel like that is something worth pursuing then we would already have the network ready, the team, platform to bring those ideas to life,” Chinitz said when he explained their larger vision.
This past month they reached a significant milestone as Coordimate got on the shelves at the SMC bookstore. “It was really important to us and was important to me personally because this is where I thought of the idea and it was cool to see it come from a vision to reality,” Chinitz said.
However, being a young entrepreneur is far from easy. It takes a lot of effort, time and energy which is why Chinitz had to take a semester off from University of California, San Diego, where he is currently a student. “Joggling it with school have definitely been the most difficult thing during this journey. Naturally this grabs a lot more of my sincere passion than school. You try to do really well in school but it's not always what interests you,” said Chinitz. “Which is why I'm happy we have a team and that it's not a one mans show,” he added.
When asking Chinitz what has been the best thing during this long process, his face lit up and he answered, “The best thing about it was giving it to Mr. Murray for sure. He was very excited, very touched and he liked it so I was happy.”