For the July 2016 edition of "Entrepreneurs Heart Greater Hartford," we spoke with Trinity College student Micah Onditi, CEO and Founder of Mivy.
Tell us about Mivy.
Mivy is an Ecommerce app for college students across the nation to buy and sell course materials directly amongst each other. By using Mivy, any student can connect with their peers and avoid going to the bookstore. I created this platform because I knew how important and necessary an app, like Mivy, is to the life of a college student. Since Mivy is exclusively for college students, we are able to buy and sell our textbooks at a fair price. Whether at the beginning, middle, or end of the semester, Mivy is the one stop app for any college student across the nation.
Why did you decide to start your own business in Greater Hartford?
I started Mivy in the Greater Hartford area because I attend school here in Hartford, at Trinity College. During my freshman year, I was not willing to accept that I had to pay hundreds of dollars every semester, just so the bookstore can offer to buy them from me at a tenth of the price I originally paid. This unwillingness inspired me to create Mivy. Hartford has been a great city for my aspirations and goals, because of the many people here who have helped me get to the place I am today.
How does your business impact the community?
Mivy impacts the the lives of college students far and near. However, there are so many colleges in this area, and because of that there are thousands of discontent students who do not want to, or simply cannot pay the high price of textbooks. We are made to believe that high textbook costs are the "norm", and a part of the college experience; but it is not. With Mivy, students in our community or any community learn to not accept the "norm" of “ the college experience.”
What wise words of wisdom would you give to an entrepreneur who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?
If you truly believe in your idea and ultimately yourself, you cannot make excuses or be hesitant. As an entrepreneur, you cannot focus your time or energy on ‘what if’s’; instead you must shift that focus towards achieving success in whatever your venture is. You will make mistakes along the way, but embrace them. These mistakes will sharpen your vision and help you see new, innovative ways of achieving your goals. Being an entrepreneur is not easy, in part because there is no guaranteed formula to ensure success. You are likely to work harder than you ever have, but trust me, it is all worth it. If you believe in yourself, you are going to achieve so many great things.
What is it like being an entrepreneur in Greater Hartford? What difficulties or challenges have you faced?
There are many challenges that are associated with being an entrepreneur. Many times, I find that I have more than one role with Mivy. This can make explaining what I do to others very complex. As an entrepreneur, you are a little bit of everything, and you have to become okay with that. However, in Hartford, there are many people and companies who are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. I’ve learned that in this field, you cannot do it all by yourself. We all need a helping hand, and that’s great because Hartford has it.
What is your vision for your business venture over the next five years?
Over the next five years, I am working towards making Mivy a national dorm room name. I am aware of the importance of Mivy, but I want to be able to share that with every college student across the nation.
This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that the Greater Hartford Region Entrepreneurs have for their work and this City. It will examine how young entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and give examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in their communities.