Wired In: Bianca Chan

Wired In: Bianca Chan

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet BIANCA CHAN, a University of Illinois student and veteran of startups who is now involved with Octane, an app that provides a "video-game-like cruising experience" for car enthusiasts and connections to events in the community.

How did you get started?

Before joining Octane in spring of 2017, my previous work experience has largely been with startups, particularly in their marketing and social-media departments. I wanted to translate this experience into something I had more control over, so the perfect next step seemed to be teaming up with my friends who have a similar entrepreneurial spirit.

How do you achieve real-time tracking? How does your product prevent drivers from getting off-course?

Our app concurrently updates every driver's location every second while they are driving, which creates a continuously smooth-driving experience for your crew. If a driver makes a wrong turn or is stopped at a red light, this will instantly show on the map and notify the other users who can then make the necessary maneuvers to stay on-course.

And drivers and crews can communicate through your system?

Drivers will be able to communicate with the touch of a button in the near future.

Is it on the market now? How much does the product cost?

The Android beta version is available on the Google Play Store for free! We plan to have the iOS version available in one month.

What's your best advice for someone who's starting up?

Don't dwell on the small things that are out of your control. Things happen. It's in your best interest to get over it as soon as you can. Keep in touch with the professors, bosses, teammates who inspired you and pushed you to reach your potential. Just a simple check in on LinkedIn goes a long way. Everyone you know is working hard pursing their own goals, and you never know who you might be able to help out or who would be happy to give you a leg up.

Did you ever make any mistakes that you learned from in your early years?

I used to be very shy and unsure of myself, but I've learned that too much focus on small mistakes can really eat away at my confidence and sense of self-worth. Being confident in myself simply as a person pushes me to achieve anything I set my mind to.

TECH TIDBITS ... from BIANCA CHAN

Favorite app: Besides Octane ... Poshmark.

On Facebook I follow: Vic Mensa, Casey Neistat.

What are you reading right now? "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah.

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