Brian Kim, Class of 2013, double majors in Computer Science and Business Administration at the University of California at Berkley. Recently, he developed the smartphone application GIFTO.
1. Can you describe your smartphone application?
Although GIFTO has not been released yet, my team members and I have made significant progress after multiple rounds of investment fairs. GIFTO establishes an online platform of gifting and exchange within the US market. Because we wanted to eliminate the burdensome process of physically exchanging products, we attempted to allow people to exchange products and pick them up at their local shops. We also incorporated an element of data mining, which is another long-term goal of our application: to gather data regarding consumer trends and interests in order to maximize our profitability in the long run.
2. What were some hardships you encountered while developing the application?
We took on this startup as part-time because of our studies, so it was difficult to find a time when we could all work together. Technicality-wise, we struggled to find online payment systems that we wanted to partner with. Since our application required users to make transactions online, we needed to create a strong security server or partner up with large online banking companies, such as PayPal or Visa. However, these companies requested high transaction fees, so we are currently in the process of negotiating a moderate transaction fee.
3. What are your future plans?
I am currently open to computer engineering and finance, but I have not yet decided whether I should attend graduate school in the US or return to Korea after university. For the next couple of years, I will continue to expand my knowledge so that I can discover my true passion.