Students can be very powerful social influencers. And let’s be honest, they’re the ones utilizing social media outlets the most, no? That’s why Benjamin Kosinski created Sumpto, the first platform that rewards students based on their social influence. Now using Facebook for endless hours may actually pay off.
We caught up with Benjamin to talk about his road less traveled, Sumpto’s beginnings and seizing the year.
Tell us a little more about what inspired Sumpto?
While I was at The University of Miami, I noticed how connected and influential college students were to each other. There was one specific time when a friend uploaded a funny picture, and it had a bunch of comments and ‘Likes’ all from college students and all from different schools. Once I graduated, I saw the huge value potential and need from brands to be able to tap into this difficult to reach demographic.
What’s a typical day at Sumpto look like?
I wake up at 6:30, grab a large iced coffee, and stay head down until around 1:00 or 2:00. After grabbing a quick lunch or another coffee I work until about 6:00. I then take a nice long run which helps clear my head, back to work, and then eventually a little sleep!
How do you motivate yourself?
One of my favorite sayings is ‘Carpe Annum’ which means ‘Sieze the year’. A lot of people say Carpe Diem; that’s great and all but there isn’t really anything special about working hard for one day, seizing it, and then giving yourself a pat on the back. Who seizes the year? It’s that inner drive that just leaves no room for being content.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
My notebook which handles a lot of my random thoughts through out the day and an iced coffee. Boring, I know, but honest.
What entrepreneur do you admire?
Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour. He has a quote which is up on my wall;
“Smart enough to be naive enough to not know what I couldn’t accomplish”
I think a lot of people are and will look at my age and say ‘he’s inexperienced, he hasn’t failed x amount of times yet, he hasn’t done the leg work’, etc. I’m trying to use my age to my advantage; I combined the one thing I knew best, which was college, with a previously unidentified problem and solution. I think being naive can be an awesome strength if properly positioned and balanced with surrounding yourself with smarter people.
Can you share what got your latest “WOW” moment was?
Earlier today I found out we signed up our third brand this week; it is really cool to see brands so receptive to a concept before it even launches.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend?
I would take that $500,000 and put it into Sumpto for our seed round. What 23 year old wants a year off?!
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
My life isn’t on hold; this is it. I think the confidence came from just being young, passionate, and stupid enough to think it might actually work. I also truly believed in my idea and didn’t care what people said; I remember there were a bunch of people who would ask me what I was doing, and I’d tell them this, and they would respond ‘No, really, but like what’s your job?’. I think combining this exterior motivation with my inner, personal motivation is really what helped me do this 110%.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why
Pandora. I listen to a lot of music during the day and it helps keep me focused.
What’s the greatest thing about your company?
I think it’s our model; giving exclusive promotions and free stuff to influential college students. Brands need a platform that provides them with the ability to target and engage with the college demographic while every college student loves awesome promotions and free stuff. Everybody wins and we are trying to be that solution.
Where can our readers reach out to you?
ben [at] sumpto.com and on Twitter @bennyyk
Thanks Ben! If you’re a student-focused brand or a social student rockstar, check out Sumpto and start getting rewarded for all those tough Twitter and FB hours you’ve put in (when you’re suppose to be studying for your bio exam, a-hem).