Business student shares three classes that helped him launch his own startup

This post was written by Dane Christensen, a sophomore majoring in business administration, as part of an assignment in the school’s BUS 305: Business Writing course.

In October of my freshman year, I created a website that solved the problem of college students not being able to easily get connected or involved with others on campus. This idea was created because as a freshman, I was not finding opportunities to meet new people on campus or get relevant information about student organizations. After doing some informal student interviews, I realized I was not the only one struggling with getting connected.

At the time, I was majoring in exercise science and spending close to 30 hours a week creating the design for the website. Over winter break, I switched my major to business administration in order to learn more about business and what it means to be a social entrepreneur.

Freshlink is a centralized social networking platform that provides students the opportunities of connection and involvement on campus. The website currently allows students to meet others, explore organizations and get updates about events happening around campus. My site gives students the access to individually message others for the purpose of establishing connections based on hobbies, interests, majors, etc., listed in their profiles. The next step for Freshlink is funding the development for a mobile app to better the student experience and provide more opportunities of connection through a multitude of new functions.

Three business classes that propelled the launch of Freshlink

I started taking business classes in the spring of 2021 and began my time in Capitol Federal Hall enrolled in ENTR 301: Starting Your Own Business. Lecturer Wally Meyer taught me the basics of entrepreneurship and provided advice about how to develop a personalized business plan for my own startup while learning in his class.

Simultaneously, I was taking ENTR 302: Financing Your Own Startup with lecturer Lisa Bergeron. This class gave me tremendous insight on how to fund a startup, especially if you are a college student like myself. Working with other entrepreneurship students gave me the confidence to share the work I had been doing for the last several months. My group partners agreed to help by participating in some customer discovery interviews about Freshlink.

Currently, I am enrolled in ENTR 303: Marketing Your Own Startup with lecturer Charlotte Tritch. She has given me great opportunities to learn about marketing within my new business venture. Since launching Freshlink, a team of four students in class are working on marketing tactics with me for the semester. Having other students supporting my startup in class helps further my mission of impacting students.

With the help of friends and family, Dane Christensen handed out more than 750 Freshlink T-shirts at Union Fest on Aug. 21, 2021. Christensen says that more than 200 students have created an account on the Freshlink website. Photo credit: Curt Christensen

Expanding the reach of Freshlink on campus

Since launching Freshlink 10 weeks ago at UnionFest, my startup has over 200 students and 20 student organizations with an account on the website. With the support of friends and family, we were able to hand out 750 Freshlink T-shirts to students that showed up to UnionFest. Seeing students wear my T-shirt on campus motivates me to continue working.

Keep updated with Freshlink as we continue to grow

Lecturer Wally Meyer has helped devise a business plan to achieve success with my new venture as part of The Catalyst program for startups. Freshlink has plans to grow and evolve in the coming semesters with the sole mission of impacting student life at the University of Kansas.

For more information, follow Freshlink on Instagram @freshlinkku to learn more about our mission of providing opportunities to all students. If you are a student interested in getting involved with other students or the multitude of organizations on campus, visit freshlinku.com.

Stories about the students, alumni, faculty and staff of the University of Kansas School of Business.