Kyle McCarthy and Connor Hall are MU students who have been creating ideas together since high school. They combined their passions for technology and business to create Hall Exchange, a website that allows students to safely buy, sell and trade items.
Connor and I have been making business ideas together since our Sophomore year of high school. One of our first ideas was to sell video game accounts since Connor traveled all around the country doing tournaments. That idea was pretty successful, but we knew we needed to create something that would be enough to make a living. We separated for a while since it was our first year of college, but now we’re back together and working on Hall Exchange.
I came up with the idea last year. I was actually sitting in my dorm, and it was toward the end of the semester, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with all this extra stuff. Students were throwing nice items in the hall such as couches. And college students, we’re actually kind of lazy, and we didn’t have a resource to help ourselves. So, what I wanted to do is make something where if I had something I wasn’t going to use, an incoming freshman or someone else could buy it. School is expensive and you have your furnishings and other things like that, and it becomes really costly. So, I came up with the idea of a college classifieds for Mizzou students.
We always focus on services and what we can do to make it new and unique. Hall Exchange is more affordable and safer for students than Craigslist, and it’s more local as well.
So, over the summer, I contacted Connor to help me get Hall Exchange started before school started. I had the idea for almost 6 months to a year. But, to get the website to a working prototype, it took just about six months. Connor took care of the business and marketing. So, that’s what Connor does — he makes the ideas real.
We launched on Aug. 14 or maybe even a few days before that, and we feel Hall Exchange is our best idea yet.
Everything we’ve accomplished so far with Hall Exchange is because of the help we’ve been given by people here. When you go to a school like this, you have so many resources to take advantage of advisers, instructors and student organizations.
Also, there’s so many things that happen around Columbia that are for entrepreneurs. There is the League of Innovators, clubs on campus such as MU Entrepreneurs and on Wednesday mornings there are the 1 Million Cups meetings. The city is growing, and we think Columbia could be like Silicon Valley for the Midwest. We definitely have the chance to take that spot.
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