This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Chad Tjugum, a student entrepreneur at UW-Whitewater with an early-stage startup called RaritiesMarket.
He recently took fourth place in the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge as part of this year’s e-Fest competition. This three-day event is run by the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and EIX.org, a nonprofit online platform offering entrepreneurship resources.
Alongside co-creator Damian Tobias of St. Francis University in Illinois, Tjugum earned a $15,000 prize through the pitch competition.
Tjugum discusses how he first became interested in starting a business, building on his own experiences as a rare coin collector.
“I’ve been collecting coins since I was five years old, and I’ve been an entrepreneur sort of my whole life … I saw a fragmented market, a market that doesn’t have a lot of technology in it,” he said. “I wanted to introduce a technology company into that space.”
After several early pivots, Tjugum says the business is currently developing a subscription model pricing information website for coin collectors, as well as collection management software.
“So coin collectors can come onto our platform, add in the different items they have in their collection, and then track values, items, etcetera,” he said.
The team aims to launch a beta version of the platform by the end of this summer.
Listen to the podcast below, sponsored by UW-Madison: