This semester, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups participating in our in-person New Ventures Practicum!
Founder: Ben Blaine ’25, Business Management
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with?
Blaine: Surprisingly, this is my first time involved with the Dingman Center. I had attended the Pitch event last semester and was fascinated by it so I decided to research more about the center and came across the course Fearless Founders which I am currently enrolled in. I would highly recommend it to anyone with a business/idea who is looking to take that next step and is lost on how to do so.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Blaine: Billz is an app-driven platform that intends to completely change how consumers interact and receive receipts. We plan to be a centralized platform through which you can manage all your in-store and online purchases and completely eliminate paper receipts. Billz will grant users the ability to monitor and track purchases, returns, expenses, and any other purpose that a receipt may have while also incentivizing users.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence on your startup?
Blaine: Definitely my Dad. He has always evaluated any business idea that I would go to him with from the perspective of an investor. He always pushes me to take chances and encourages me to never let an opportunity slip away.
DC: How did you come up with the name of your venture?
Blaine: Unfortunately, it was not one of those “wow” moments where it all just clicked. I kind of just started brainstorming for a name that was one syllable and just stuck with Bills with a Z. Billz.
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now and how are you making it happen?
Blaine: We are currently working full-time on getting our MVP (first iteration) developed to be shared with friends and family. We are working closely with a high-end development team to make sure that all timelines and milestones are achieved to get to our next capital raise round.
DC: As a student business owner, what motivates you?
Blaine: I am really motivated to create something that will leave a lasting impact. I want to feel as if I am contributing to whatever I am working on and truly innovating society. The world of startups is rigorous and complex but it can also be extremely satisfying. Balancing both student and work responsibilities is tricky but it enables me to maximize my productivity levels daily.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Blaine: Just go. Stop thinking about it or dreaming about what could be. If you believe in it, there is no better time in life than now. I won’t deny that some steps are daunting and seem as if they can never be resolved but the only way anything can be accomplished is by continuously improving.