Undergraduate team of students launch Rilla; a new software designed to support entrepreneurs.
In partnership with a team of her colleagues, FLOBEL Young Advisor Marielle Brunelle is launching Rilla, a Software as a Service(SaaS) platform for entrepreneurial ecosystems and individual entrepreneurs. Marielle welcomes any opportunity that will allow her to develop her public relations and digital marketing skills and is looking forward to the official launching of the App in late 2019. Marielle sat down with Nectar News to discuss the development of the new multi-faceted online platform for entrepreneurs and her commitment to pursuing her passions for environmental sustainability and human rights.
NN: Can you tell us more about the mission and inspiration for RILLA?
MB: Rilla’s overarching missions are to empower individuals who have great ideas– regardless of their identity, background and location– to make them come to life, and to promote inter collaboration- whether that is intergenerational, inter-departmental, or intercultural. We believe everyone has something to offer, and everyone has something that they are passionate about. By providing the entrepreneurial resources and guidance, we are facilitating faster social change and making entrepreneurship a lower barrier to entry.
NN: How do you believe your product is unique in this growing market of ventures for entreprenuer resources?
MB: The biggest downfall for start ups are scattered information, lack of guidance, and a lack of communication. We help entrepreneurs with all of these challenges via the tools we provide. As you said, there are many entrepreneur platforms that provide very specific services for some of these downfalls, and they are in fact aiding entrepreneurs with these challenges, but there are no existing platforms that aid entrepreneurs in all of the five key categories. Connecting people, distributing resources, guiding entrepreneurs through the steps of building a business, providing analytics for organizations and empowerment. Additionally, what makes us unique is that it can be used across any type of entrepreneurial ecosystem. It doesn’t matter if you are a university, doesn’t matter if you are an individual incubator or a group of entrepreneurs. Our software is able to work with every kind of entreprenuer across the many varying sectors of entreprenuership.
NN: Describe some of the challenges you’ve been facing and what kind of support you are interested in receiving?
MB: We are a team of four between the ages of 21 and 22 so the main challenge has been finding the time to really execute our action plan. We are all full time students and half of us have additional part time jobs. We are also pre-revenue, so we haven’t been able to add anyone to our small development. We have a large set of goals and we have a lot of market we want to reach. Figuring out how we will get there and how to operationalize, building it out in a way where we will reach those markets, that has been a challenge but a very thrilling one. Right now, we are in need of market research. Simply understanding how we can help entrepreneurs and spur innovation in our business is huge. We are always looking for feedback and insights into what entrepreneurs need themselves.
NN: Can you tell us more about your studies at Syracuse and more about your personal interests and mission?
MB: I’m a public relations and international relations dual major at Syracuse University in my third year, and I’m technically a senior because I graduate in December of this year. My international relations course work promoted me to seek ways in which I could build a career around social impact. I was first introduced to environmental and human rights within the private sector through my coursework in international law, economics, and human rights. These studies really drove me to very specific international human rights based experiential learning. I completed a year long internship at a local refugee community center and more recently I just came back from France where I interned with the Director of Communications for the Counsel of Europe which addresses human rights, democracy and school of law.
I’m really involved in sustainable development both environmentally and socially and I’ve always tried to identify the areas in which I could enact the most change. Through all of these experiences and coursework I have gained a few very essential take aways. Local solutions to local problems, collaboration, and innovation are all the keys to successful social change and the betterment to society. When I began listening to my other teammates about their ideas and creating this software that would foster collaboration, communiation and promote innovation I saw the opportunity to get involved and help the business in a way that would eventually reach our end goal of helping under resources population. I worked with refugees, human rights, underresourced and injustice populations. I’m very interested in helping those communities and providing them with the resources to address their local problems with local solutions.
Marielle is Chief Operating Officer of Rilla. For launch updates, further information, or general inquiries, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org