Baker Institute Team
Senior Spotlight: David Pochapin '19
It's that time of the year - so let's highlight some of Lehigh's graduating seniors and their entrepreneurship journeys! David Pochapin '19 placed second at our EUREKA! Grand Prize Ventures Competition in April with his app, Gavel-it.
Major | Finance and Marketing
Hometown | New York City, NY
What has been your best entrepreneurial experience at Lehigh?
Best entrepreneurial experience has to be LehighSiliconValley. It was my first time ever fully being exposed to the entire process of entrepreneurship, both the attractive and ugly parts. Learning about all of it scared me a bit, but it also excited me about the possibilities that exist in entrepreneurship.
What is Gavel-it? How did it start and what are your next steps with it?
Gavel-it is a social media platform that is dedicated to settling everyday debates. People are able to ask any two-sided debate questions they may have and immediately access the public's opinion on the debate. The idea came to my brother and I as we were sitting on an airplane listen to two people argue in the seats in front of us. We launched at Lehigh on March 18th and what we have learned is that this concept of people asking and voting on questions works, but it needs to be taken to a more niche target market.
What has been an entrepreneurial challenge that you've faced? How did you overcome it? A challenge I have faced has been getting people to spread the app organically. When Gavel-it launched, we were getting tons of downloads off the bat and then it all stopped at once. I had reached out to my entire circle of people and it was not spreading from there. We combatted that by doing a large flyer ads campaign all around Lehigh and we are currently in the process of seeing how we can pivot Gavel-it in order to appease more niche markets.
What would you say to an incoming student about getting involved with entrepreneurship at Lehigh?
I would definitely tell them to get involved with the Baker Institute as soon as they get on campus. One of the big regrets I have looking back on my time at Lehigh is that I did not get involved in the entrepreneurship programs until my senior year.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be traveling to Israel and China over the summer. Then in August, I start my full-time position as a financial analyst at UBS Wealth Management Americas. I will still be working on Gavel-it throughout the summer and moving forward. The goal is to continue to grow it as much as possible and then decide what the next steps are regarding funding and full-time employment.
Good luck, David!