Imagine having a company possibly worth seven-figures before graduating college. That’s what Cole Kinchler, senior in supply chain management, Jacob Wright, senior in finance and Sharan Kalva, senior in industrial and systems engineering have accomplished in their time at Auburn.
SimplyProse was created approximately a year and a half ago when the three friends decided they wanted to start a business.
The first of its kind, SimplyProse brings together all aspects of the writing process into one consolidated website.
It is an online space where writers, publishers, editors and illustrators can find each other and work together.
Wright said since he loves writing, it was his idea to create a company that helps the writing process.
“I’ve been on several different writing sites and noticed there’s a lot of inefficiencies,” Wright said.
He said SimplyProse strives to create a more inclusive community because collaboration is an important aspect of writing.
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Users can sign up for a free version, pay $8 per month or $20 per month depending on what they want to accomplish.
SimplyProse is open to all forms of writing from children’s books to novels or songwriting to theses, according to Wright.
Once a work is completed, writers can share their material on the site for other members to view, or they can place it in the “marketplace” area, which allows the writer to form a relationship with "merchants," or professionals such as photographers, agents and publishing houses. This would help the writer publish their work.
“It’s kind of like Google Docs on steroids,” Kinchler said, “but Google Docs doesn’t provide any of the security or privacy settings that we do.”
Kinchler, Wright and Kalva have received substantial monetary prizes from competitions.
They were the winners of $5,000 from the inaugural Tiger Cage, Auburn University's version of the entrepreneurial focused game show, Shark Tank, and won $40,000 from Alabama Launchpad, a statewide startup competition.
They also appeared at this year's TechCrunch Disrupt event in California.
Although the SimplyProse creators have varying majors, Wright said they have had a great educational experience through entrepreneurship.
The company founders estimate the value of their company in the seven-figure range, according to Kinchler. Kinchler said the self-valuation came after discussions with judges and professors who have worked in capital venture firms.
“We learned a lot through this process,” Kalva said. “An example would be we had no way of setting up a temporary domain on our website, but we three figured it out. In the process we learned a lot and figured stuff out on our own.”
At the end of October, the creators said they are planning to launch the company.
“Anyone can actually do it if you want to try,” Wright said.
The website is available for use now, but improvements are still being made. Check them out at www.simplyprose.com.
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