Kina De Santis is not just any student at Chapman University. She is a co-founder of MotorMood and a leading entrepreneur within the business school. In a quick Q&A, we answer some of your questions about starting as an entrepreneur along with tips from Kina De Santis.
As an entrepreneur what inspired you to create your product?
Creating a solid product is not easy to come up with, and it may take many trials and errors before the perfect product is reached. Kina shares her experience with the creation of her products at MotorMood.
“My Cofounder, Jesse originally had the idea for MotorMood in 2009 while he was driving on the 405. He was a student at USC and had to come up with about 100 startup ideas during the week. The idea for motor mood was number 31. A few years ago my team and I were working on another idea. We realize that the idea was going to take a lot longer to carry through then we realized. So, we threw ideas around for about 2 weeks. MotorMood was the idea that stuck.”
Please give a brief description on what MotorMood is.
“MotorMood is an automotive accessory that allows drivers to say thanks on the road. We like to call our product “the status bar for your car”. Our mission is to make the road a happier place. When a driver presses the remote button on their sun visor, their MotorMood lights up in the back of their car window so the car behind them can see.”
How did you create your product?
“We started out by doing a lot of research. We started to prototype our product by 3d printing the case which saved us time. We went through a few different iterations of the MotorMood and after doing some user testing, we decided on a final version. Over the past couple years we have worked with many different people, companies and organizations to get to the point that we are at right now.”
Any advice or tips for fellow classmates who are looking into starting their own company?
“Make sure you have a solid understanding of the different parts of your business. It’s really important to know what’s important for your success. Do your research. Understand the startup space so that you can utilize the infinite resources that are out there.”
What should a future entrepreneur look out for when designing their startup?
“Look out for market opportunity. If there are 200 or even 20 other startups doing the exact idea that you’re focusing on, evaluate what makes you different. Spend time doing market research and really understanding your customer. When you get that nailed, everything else becomes a lot clearer.”
Does networking play a role in helping you succeed? If so, how?
“Absolutely. Networking will take you to the next level, and the next level after that. With that being said, networking is only helpful when you have the infrastructure in place to make networking useful.”
If you have the passion, and determination to create a product that you see fit to be on the market, follow your intuition! It is a lengthy and difficult process to create a perfect final product, but in the end, every effort is worth trying.
As a young entrepreneur from Chapman, Kina is a leading example that hard work and dedication can help you reach your goals. Through trial and error, Kina and her cofounder Jesse, have created an amazing product that will surely “make the road a happier place.”