Rachel Koretsky ’14: Alum & Founder of the Upace App

Her Campus American: Tell me about yourself.

RK: I am from Philadelphia, Pa., and I came to American as a freshmen. I just graduated in May 2014 with a degree in Business administration with specializations in entrepreneurship and business for social impact. I also minored in communications and received a certificate in advanced leadership studies. I have a background in nonprofit management that has allowed me to be contracted out by other companies and create part time jobs. Currently I’m working with the Kogod Student Incubator Program on my app UPACE.

HCAU: Tell me about the UPACE App.

RK: Upace is a web-based application that allows fitness to meet convenience for students. Users can to see current occupancy at campus gyms, what machines are available, sign up for fitness classes, and reserve cardio machines. It ultimately allows for students to take back control of their fitness lifestyle. In general, the goal of the app is to appeal to all students who want to take part in fitness activities, whether it be on a daily to weekly basis, or occasionally during the semester.

HCAU: What led you to creating an app like UPACE?

RK: I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and build something from scratch. By junior and senior year of college, I had moved off campus and was paying for outside gym memberships because I was too busy to go to the facilities on campus. I realized that was ridiculous and I wanted to create something that allowed students to use facilities available to them, ones they are already paying fees for, at their easiest convenience. 

HCAU: What was the process for development of the app?

RK: I first spoke with professors who encouraged me to reach out to universities to see if anyone expressed interest. I sent about 60 informational interview emails to universities across the country and received a great response from about half of them who expressed interest in a product like UPACE. That was really encouraging to me because I didn’t think I would get that great of a response and with that, I went forward with finding initial capital to fund the app development. Then I found developers who would get into the technical development of the app. Afterwards I searched for a university that would be my pilot, and decided on AU and began the marketing process. The launch was the next step, and now we are in the process of receiving feedback from students and university staff to determine elements of the app we want to change or keep, and add in order to evolve the app.

HCAU: What has been the hardest and easiest part of this whole process?

RK: Being a recent college graduate and only 22 years old has been somewhat of a struggle. I’m really working on how to get my age to help me rather then hurt me through this process. An easy part of the process I would have to say was reaching out to universities. I wasn’t expecting to receive such a great response and that was just incredible. 

HCAU: What are you hoping to accomplish with UPACE and where do you hope to see it go?

RK: The goal is to expand to universities all across the country and then create a collegiate connection among those universities. It would also be great to develop UPace to have a social impact.

HCAU: How can students get involved?

RK: First by signing up for the app at our website! We also will be offering internships this summer related to marketing, graphic design, coding and development, and looking for brand ambassadors. Along with interns, in the near future we will be looking to hire recent graduates as full time employees.

HCAU: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

RK: I think in the next few years I hope to developing and growing UPACE as a company and pursing other ideas for apps as I establish myself as an entrepreneur. In the far future  my lifetime goal would be to become an executive director of a nonprofit organization.

HCAU: Do you have any advice for current business students?

RK: If you have an idea to start a company, or a dream, just go for it. Don’t the fear of failures or “what ifs” get in the way.

 

 

Comments

About The Author

Originally from Boston, but DC is my new home. 

International Relations Major who loves exploring the city with friends.

Often found on campus in the library or the balconies of the SIS building.

Heart belongs to traveling, shopping, friends and family, and Phi Sigma Sigma :) 

Follow on instagram at jena_doyle or twitter @oNe_N_jeNa