Benjamin Kosinski is the founder of Sumpto, an online platform that measures the social influence of college students. Basically, they give free products and exclusive promotions to influential college students across the nation. After graduating from the University of Miami in May of 2011, Ben realized there was no platform that served as an intermediary for brands to introduce, infuse, and immerse their product into the difficult to reach college demographic. He then started Sumpto and it recently launched on July 30th, 2012.
Where did the idea for Sumpto come from?
While I was at the University of Miami, I noticed how connected college students were to each other; I knew what happened at Arizona State over the weekend, because a friend of a friend posted a picture of a party on Facebook. After I graduated, I saw how ineffective traditional marketing efforts were and how difficult to reach, yet valuable, college students are to brands. I combined these two things with the one thing I knew best- college.
What does your typical day look like?
Wake up at 6:30, grab a trenta black iced coffee, and work until about 7:00pm. Quick run and then finish up with a few hours of emails and research.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I stop thinking about it and do it.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Influence based marketing and hyper targeting; identifying influencers in specific niches. There is tremendous value in providing brands an influencer who matches their exact desired audience; something that Sumpto has begun implementing.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked at GNC for about 3 days during the summer of my sophomore year in college. No one came in, no one visited, and I was going crazy. I realized I had the worst ADD ever and constantly needed to do something and stay stimulated.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’m just starting out and thankful for every day.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Know what you know and know what you don’t. I know college and I think I know it pretty well. Due to that, I was confident that Sumpto would work. However, I didn’t really know anything else so I asked everyone I knew for advice and help.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I tried to launch an iPhone app in the fall of 2011; it was a great idea but just didn’t take off because I didn’t really put 100% into it. I learned that if you’re going to do something, do it 110% and leave nothing on the table.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
College students are under valued and misunderstood by the public as a whole.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would change college and make it 8 years. Then, I would still be cool.
Tell us a secret.
I partied a lot in college.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Twitter; seeing what college students are thinking, their values, and their goals.
Barstoolu.com; viva la stool.
Enough said. Techcrunch; allows me to stay up to date with startups, investors, and the tech community.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Wish I didn’t say this, but I haven’t read a book since my sophomore year.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
@Sumpto because it’s pretty cool to see students engaging with brands.
@kissmysthrnsass because this girl embodies what it is to be a sorority girl from the south. @ScooterBraun so you can tell him he should invest in @Sumpto!
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
When I saw this question.
Who is your hero?
My parents. They are now both very successful doctors who work extremely hard. They work harder in their mid-60’s than most 20 year olds.
What is your goal with Sumpto?
I hope Sumpto becomes the gateway to the college demographic; if you’re a brand and you want to introduce your message or product, you simply have to go through Sumpto or else student’s won’t pay attention.
Do you think your age is a disadvantage?
No, I think being a 23 year old could be the biggest advantage I have. Do you want a 40 year old telling you what college life is like and how students act or a 23 year old?