Interested in entrepreneurship? Have an idea you want to bring to life?
Read below to learn how Binghamton’s own, John Timm and Tyler London, made their business dream a reality!
Check out their website www.thezenithlink.com, and sign up for their text-network by messaging “bingbuzz” to 313313!
Tell us a little bit about yourself (i.e. year, major, campus involvement, etc).
My name is John Timm and I am an MBA student at Binghamton. I completed my undergraduate studies at Binghamton in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. As an undergrad, I was a Senior Analyst in the Binghamton University Investment Fund and was Vice President of my fraternity.
My name is Tyler London, I am also a senior at Binghamton University studying accounting with a Pre-law concentration. I will be staying at Binghamton for my MBA and have been active in the Binghamton’s Society of Economic Outreach during my past few years in undergrad.
What is Zenith Link LLC?
Zenith Link’s mission is to create a mutually beneficial relationship between local venues and students. We work to connect customers to bars and restaurants in the area by providing micro-advertisements in real time to students about current deals around them. Students receive these deals in the form of push notifications to their phone to help them make spontaneous decisions throughout the course of their night. Venues are therefore able to squeeze maximum revenue out as they take advantage of data that covers the “going-out” scene. As our database grows, venues have not only a larger network to market to, but they are given more options on ways to cater to the student body. Students in the network have access to far more information about what they may be missing out on all within one centralized platform.
What inspired you to create this business?
Tyler and I have been brainstorming business ideas for a couple years. During our sophomore year, we both interned for a startup company called SpinGig which gave us a taste of what it was like to work in an entrepreneurial environment. On top of that, we were in the same group for our MIS 311 group project in which Professor Shannon tasked every group in the class with developing an original business plan. Since that project, Tyler and I have brainstormed dozens of ideas. Being students, we have been dealing with limited resources and time as we had to work around classes and other academic responsibilities in the meantime. Zenith Link came to life in June. We were discussing how there is no central hub of everything going on in downtown Binghamton, and everyone relied on word-of-mouth and pre-planned events that took hold days prior. We questioned why there are never “real-time” updates directly from venues, and understood that planning everything out in advance is not extremely effective on both the venue and student side. The idea of venues being able to relay “real-time” information to potential clients was something we knew we had to make happen, so we decided to go for it.
What helped to make this idea a reality?
Tyler and I got Zenith Link going on our own, but we have definitely had help along the way. Steven Popovich, one of the members of the SpinGig team and our prior supervisor, helped us channel our ideas into an operating business. We created a slide deck using the skills we learned during our time in Binghamton’s School of Management and used it to pitch the idea to Steve and fellow colleagues who would benefit from the platform.
Do you have any advice for students interested in starting their own business?
Never stop asking questions and brainstorming. If you think of an idea, do your research, analyze it and dissect it. If you think you have something, find a way to make it tangible now. Don’t assume someone else already has made your dream a reality. Competitors are a good thing, and they act as a strong starting point and sense of validation for a potential idea.
Any plans for the future/growing the business?
We are working on developing an application that would not only make our platform more cost-effective, but simple and easy to use as a consumer. Once our app is complete and proves itself in the Binghamton area, we hope to expand to other schools with similar college towns and students looking for things to do.
How can students stay connected with Zenith Link?
As of last week, we are approaching 450 users in our network. This number has been growing exponentially as both students and venues continue to find ways to safely interact during the pandemic. It is no secret that COVID-19 is a hurdle for Zenith Link. Restaurants, bars, and especially students must adhere to strict social guidelines in order to maintain a safe environment for all. While our network grows in the backend, we are constantly working to build relationships with owners of Binghamton venues to make the best of the current situation.
In the meantime, we encourage all students to follow our instagram @zenithlinkllc, check out our website www.thezenithlink.com, and sign up for our text-network by messaging “bingbuzz” to 313313. We will be providing updates about our company as well as the state of Binghamton’s evening life as soon as any information is available to us!
Are there any opportunities for other students to get involved?
We are constantly looking to grow and add student ambassadors to help spread our vision. The more people we have aboard, the more efficient the information we all are seeking can be spread. For those interested, please send us an email with your resume and how you think you can add value to Zenith Link. You can reach us at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org