Feature Friday! DISTRICT5

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups participating in our Terp Startup Accelerator summer program. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend of up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founder: Sonny Tu ’23, Information Science

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Tu: Fun, refreshing and inspiring creativity. DISTRICT5 strives to connect brands and consumers with thrilling storytelling, visuals, and digital media content. 

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Tu: I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship. I knew it was the right time when I started to surround myself with like-minded people. I had all the reasons to, but I did not know whether I had the support I was looking for to make the jump.

DC: Who or what is your biggest influence for your startup?
Tu: My biggest influence is seeing a lot of my peers, colleagues, and like-wise leave the area and move. Personally, I was never a fan of the thought of moving to live in places like LA or NY. I like visiting and being there for a time, but I wouldn’t move there. That drives me to think bigger for the company.

DC: Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?
Tu: It’s what I’m interested in.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last few months?
Tu: We’ve closed out a bunch of contracts that I’m excited to share when the time comes. What I can share is that one project is in talks to be showcased on New York Times Times Square billboards. 

DC: When it comes to your startup, how do you define success?
Tu: For something such as our startup, one of the things that are often left out are basic things such as healthcare, 401K, and more. We’re in the process of setting that up for our company and our employees, and we hope to continue to set standards like that for others to follow suit. 

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Tu: I’m hoping to sort out a lot of the infrastructure of the company. There’s a lot that in the midst of action was just not set up, and I would love to also work on networking and partnership/relationships.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Tu: Keep learning. I don’t think there’s ever a clear-cut solution for businesses to follow in order to succeed. As long as you have a clear head on your shoulders and learn from every experience and can apply that knowledge, you’ll be growing along with the company. 

To learn more about DISTRICT5, please visit the website here.

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