For a lot of students, college scheduling is a battleground. As students are frantically trying to get into the classes required to graduate, they need to evaluate timing, course content, and most importantly, the reputation of the professor teaching the class. Mia Hinz ‘23, studying public relations with a minor in the iSchool, found an issue with this process that could leveraged with an innovative solution..
Hinz is a junior at Syracuse University from New York City, specifically downtown Manhattan. She knew Syracuse was the place for her after she toured with her brother as a freshman in high school. “I fell in love with the campus during my freshman year and always had it in my back pocket when I was applying for schools.” I didn’t even revisit my application process. I just knew it was the place I wanted to be.”
Although Hinz wouldn’t say she had an entrepreneurial spirit growing up, she definitely showed creative flair. Hinz says “I loved building Legos and building creative projects growing up. I used to watch Shark Tank a lot and loved the ideas they would present.”
Coming to Syracuse, Hinz stumbled upon the idea for her company after experiencing the struggles of choosing what courses to take. Hinz says, “When I used websites like Rate my Professor, I wasn’t getting nearly enough information I needed to make the right decisions with picking classes.”
To combat this challenge, Hinz created Candid, an open forum for info on classes and professors. She was seeing these kinds of discussions already happening on campus, so she wanted to create one platform to put all of these conversations regarding class selections together. Hinz says,“With applications like Yik Yak being used as a means of communication for students as well as the Tab talking about what professors and classes are good to take, I think Candid will be popular in that sense.”
Hinz credits her iSchool teacher Elizabeth Ruscitto for pushing her to test her idea at the recent ‘Cuse Tank competition. Hinz says, “She basically told me that I had nothing to lose and that it would be a great experience to learn how to develop my idea and pitch it in front of people.”
Hinz is grateful to the LaunchPad for allowing her to pitch her idea and for others to see the value in it.
“I hope students see Candid as an intelligent tool to inform their academic decisions,” Hinz says.
She is currently in the process of developing a landing page for Candid. If you are a web developer that is interested in helping, reach out to email@example.com.
Story by Jack Lyons ‘22, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photos and graphics supplied