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: Sung Hyun (Thomas) Noh ’24, Immersive Media Design, Erik Chou ’24, Product Design & Human-Computer Interaction
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Noh: For brands struggling to handle incoming social media messages and comments, Sociable AI offers a solution. Our easy-to-use web app enables the customization of conversational AI, automating customer interaction while boosting engagement and retention rates.
DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?
Noh: My journey as an entrepreneur started back in my Junior year of Highschool. I came to a realization that my happiness derives from when my creation inspires others. A startup is one of the few ways to fulfill my life.
DC: Who or what is your biggest influence on your startup?
Noh: My startup has been significantly shaped by Simon Johnson, an MIT entrepreneurship professor, and Yong Kim, my advisor. Their guidance was pivotal in laying the groundwork for Sociable AI.
DC: Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?
Noh: I have been fortunate to be involved in the marketing industry for the last 7 years because I see it as an art of inspiring others, creating things that are memorable.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last few months?
Noh: As a company we’ve onboarded our first 3 clients and are gearing up for our official launch scheduled for this October. Personally, my most cherished accomplishment is establishing meaningful connections with individuals who also see my vision and the problem I’m aiming to solve – including customers, advisors, and mentors.
DC: When it comes to your startup, how do you define success?
Noh: Success, for me, is measured by both the quality and quantity of influence. It’s about the number of people touched and the depth of impact made in their lives.
DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?
Noh: This is the first time I’ve been able to wholeheartedly concentrate on my startup, and I’m sincerely grateful to the Dingman Center for making it possible. My aim during the accelerator is to refine both the macro and micro strategies and chart a course for the future. I’m also super excited about networking with fellow dynamic entrepreneurs to gather insights.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Noh: Don’t do it unless you hate yourself… Just kidding! Often, folks romanticize the entrepreneur’s life, painting it in overly rosy hues. Many dive in with dreams of striking it rich. Being an entrepreneur demands significant sacrifices and enduring substantial challenges. Weathering the storm necessitates a crystal-clear “why.” It’s crucial to be brutally honest with yourself – why are you pursuing this path? What’s your driving force? Without an authentic “why,” the hardships will magnify.