Each week, staff writer Paul Wood interviews a different high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet ANDRE MAHOMES, a senior at the University of Illinois studying interdisciplinary health science who recently launched a web-development and information-technology startup, Mahomes Tech, which provides services to economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs.
What interested you in doing this startup? Have you ever done one before?
I’ve always had an interest in technology since I was young. Over the course of my collegiate career, I’ve developed a lot of projects. Once I began to realize how important web development and IT services were to entrepreneurs, it inspired me to create Mahomes Tech.
What does your startup do?
We provide affordable high-quality services to economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Our most popular services are web development, brand building and app development.
Who else is on your team?
We have a small team currently. Our CTO is Shamith Achanta, and our CFO is Harsh Badera. We outsource a lot of our work to a network of 10 expert software engineers.
Has Mahomes Tech thrived?
Since we began our journey in July 2019, we’ve grown substantially. We start with one client and have grown to 50 clients in a very short amount of time. We’ve done so well that we’re hiring interns to assist with the exponential growth of Mahomes Tech.
How will you continue to expand your brand?
We will continue building our brand through strategic marketing and mutually beneficial partnerships. We want to continue reaching our target audience, and providing them with exceptional services.
Do you have any funding from the university?
Yes we were chosen to participate in the I-Corps Customer Discovery 25th cohort. They assist us by providing financial resources to find who our audience is and how to best serve them.
What interests you the most right now?
The most interesting part for me now is my interactions with our clients. I love bringing their unique ideas to life. I feel like a child again where I can express my creativity. I love helping them to envision their company, then bring that vision to life.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
I’ve been an entrepreneur since high school. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs, and this inspired me to forge my own entrepreneurial path. Mahomes Tech was the first successful entrepreneurial endeavor I’ve taken on, and for this, I am grateful.
What’s your best advice for someone who’s starting up?
Know who your customers are, and exactly what they want. A startup needs to solve a problem or need. The only way to find out what problems exist is to learn more about your potential customer base. I would also say be consistent. There’s no easy road to success, but if you keep going, no matter what, you will have your breakthrough. Believe in yourself and invest energy into your startup every single day. I always tell myself I may not know where I’m going, but I know it’s forward.
Have you ever make any mistakes you’ve been able to learn from?
I’ve made many mistakes in my pursuit of success. The biggest mistake I made was not being consistent at times. When there’s bumps in the road, that’s the greatest opportunity for growth. I didn’t believe in my ability, and became my own worst enemy. Now I know what I’m capable of and am willing to do anything to continue turning my dreams into reality.
TECH TIDBITS ... from ANDRE MAHOMES
Do you have a favorite thing to follow on social media, or an app you really love? I love to follow technology and entrepreneurship pages on social media. I always learn something new that I can apply while scrolling down my timeline. It’s a great way to learn and network!
What are you reading right now? “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki. This book has been a joy to read, and an enriching learning experience. It inspires me daily to never give up and to stay encouraged.
Do you have an entrepreneur hero? Robert F. Smith. He’s elevated himself to a level of success I hope to achieve one day. I’ve followed his journey over the years, and he never ceases to amaze me. Hopefully, one day, I can meet him. It would truly be a dream come true!