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How This Young Entrepreneur Is Helping Students Reach Their Potential This School Year

“Why does communication at school suck so much?”. This is the kind of question that recent McGill University graduate, Sarah Main, found herself wondering as a student. Rather than accepting the archaic educational tools offered to her at the time, Sarah wondered how she could change the group work game to fit the 21st century. Being a busy, organized, and fast-paced individual, Sarah is proud to introduce Reach, an online space where students can collaborate, share files, and plan projects – the right way. The creation of this successful venture was the perfect way for Sarah Main and business partner Brent Hussey to get their feet in the door of the tech startup world, while understanding what young people want.

Reach is showing the kind of growth that makes the risk of starting a new business as a young pair in the tech community seem like not much of a risk at all. Reach, in many ways, not only makes education a better experience for students, but also provides a new, streamlined way of communicating and learning. As two young entrepreneurs in the tech industry, Sarah and Brent have an eye for innovation that is undeniable. Not to mention, without any previous tech experience, the two of them have had to learn hands-on what it means to learn from experience that enables you to move forward, rather than allows obstacles to hold you back.

Just days away from the official launch of Reach at UBC, SFU, BCIT, and UVIC, I got the chance to speak to CEO and Co-Founder Sarah Main about how Reach is breaking the mold, where they found their inspiration, and how they’ve overcome major obstacles in achieving success. This natural born hustler has the ability to not only surmount to the challenges she faces, but to also maintain a remarkable degree of admiration. Find out how Reach will help you get on track for your courses this Fall and reach your own success!

HC: Describe Reach. How does it work?

SM: Say you’re faced with a group project for a course – everyone’s busy, has a different schedule, and you want to add some structure in order to get things done. Students can go on to Reach and join a work space. In this work space you can share files, schedule events, meetings, create separate private groups, and make teams. It really streamlines the experience and capitalizes on the short-term communication cycle of student group work. Once the project is completed by a certain expiration date, the platform will be wiped and you will be ready for your next task.

HC: How did this idea evolve into what it is today?

SM: I had this problem at university and when I looked into it, I couldn’t find any solutions. That’s when I realized there was a big problem, but also a big market for this. Since there was nothing out there like it, there wasn’t much business competition and I was able to validate the idea as a venture. I was then accepted into Ryan Holmes’ The Next Big Thing accelerator hosted by Hootsuite. This helped me build my team and bring my product to the current market.

HC: What influenced you to work in the tech industry?

SM: I’m a people person. I studied Sociology in university and I spend at least two hours a day reading about science, business, and studying what people have done and what people are doing. It’s people that shape what’s going to happen and I’m trying to figure out more about our generation. I want to know what works and what doesn’t work. The Internet is an interesting platform and it’s exciting figuring out what will work and how I can solve current problems.

HC: What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

SM: The biggest challenge, and biggest blessing, I have come across is inexperience. On the one hand, I’m trying to do everything all at once. But if something doesn’t work then I know there was no expectations. I’m self taught and it’s mostly trial and error. I like to learn as I go and am always thinking about what else I can do next.

HC: What’s your secret to success?

SM: Surround yourself with good people because business is run off of people. Without these people, an idea is just an idea. Having no tech or business background, their advice and experience is extremely useful and motivational. I also understand that there is no such thing as an overnight success. You have to put a lot of work into something you really believe in it. Be persistent and confident because if you truly believe it, it will catch on and other people will believe in it as well.

Find more INFO on Sarah Main, Brent Hussey, and Reach at www.joinreach.com and find out how you can collaborate, share files, and plan projects through a private, productive, and organized platform. Sign up HERE and join the exclusive Beta Test and have the chance to work directly with Reach, understand the technology, make connections, and provide critical feedback!

Born and raised in Vancouver, Rebecca is a young aspiring writer who currently studies at UBC. Follow her on instagram @rkenward
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