A Priest, A Minister, and a Rabbi Walk Into A Bar…

20160509_121621Actually, there weren’t any religious figures, but there was a college student, his roommate, and a great idea.

Rho Kook Song and Paul Park are the co-founders of Freenters Inc.. They were college Rho and Paulroommates and fraternity brothers, at the University of Chicago, who wanted to create something that sparked the interest of young college students. By combining their bank savings and getting help from friends and family, they were able to jump start a new innovation.

Paul said they were very nervous and maybe a little introverted at first, but were quickly able to adapt to greeting people everyday and starting the business.

“We had this idea we just wanted to make a reality,” Rho said.

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They created Freenters, a way of
satisfying your daily printing needs while earning some cash, simply by using the driver to print ads on each page. Yet, the first model wasn’t what we’re used to today. Back in October 2013, they were able to start sending the first hardware models out onto 22 different college campuses in Chicago, Boston, and New York.

“Starting out, everybody who has never worked on a startup has a romantic view of startups,” said Paul. “I don’t think it’s for everybody.”

The growth of the business came to a halt when they experienced their first hack on the website. It may have been one of the most difficult periods in the company, but it made it stronger.

Paul laughed as he said, “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

They were only economic majors who had a lot to learn and today value the experience because it taught them to prioritize security and hiring people who could get the job done.

The original model was far from a total loss in the company, but rather a pivotal moment in Freenters success. Our co-founders entered into the University of Chicago’s College New Venture Challenge and won, winning $10,000 in support of their new start-up company. The competition brought them immense support from their university and they met their first investor.

In only a year, the growth of the company was great, but they wanted something more scalable to meet the demands of the market, hence the creation of the Freenters driver.

Rho admitted Paul being the more “tech savvy” of the two and Rho works hard to to supplement the numerous duties of a CEO, yet both equally contribute to new objectives and highly encourage their employees to collaborate on creative ideas as well.

Paul confessed that there are very new and exciting things coming to the public in the near future.

“We are currently serving the college market, but we know that they are not the only ones who print in the world, and many adults print everyday. The process has been limited to college students and people can look forward to the [expansion into] the household market.”