Feature Friday! SPRAY

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups participating in our in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. 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

Founders: Jason Alexander Fotso-Puepi ’23, Computer Science, Connor Hartzog ’23, Computer Science, Marilyn Ortega ’24, Immersive Media Design, Ajitesh Kaladi ’25, Immersive Media Design

SPRAY taking home the Idea Track’s Prize of $2,000 at the PDC 2023.

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

Fotso-Puepi: Spray is an augmented reality (AR) mobile art application where users can create digital murals on real-world physical surfaces as well as view art that people create. Transforming any smartphone into a tool for artistic self-expression and inspiration.

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

Fotso-Puepi: During my last internship, I realized that working towards someone else’s goal was not something I wanted to do with my life. 

DC: Who or what is your biggest influence for your startup?
Fotso-Puepi: I once saw this really beautiful graffiti piece outside of UMD, so beautiful in fact that I came back the next week to show some of my friends only to discover it had been painted over. Art should never be destroyed. 

DC: Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?
Fotso-Puepi: I would consider myself an avid art consumer, and somewhat of a mural hunter. I’ve always appreciated the skill and expertise needed to make that type of art, as well as the impact these public art pieces have on the community.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last few months?
Fotso-Puepi: Development of our minimum viable product has been picking up, we are able to draw on physical surfaces and select different colors now. Great progress from where we were a couple months ago. 

DC: When it comes to your startup, how do you define success?
Fotso-Puepi: I would define success as creating a tool where artists can express themselves to the purest extent without any variation from their intended message or fear that it might one day be destroyed.

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

Fotso-Puepi: Finalize a go-to-market strategy and revenue model.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Fotso-Puepi: Remember your why.

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