This story is part of a series featuring each of the fourteen startups in the CYstarters 2021 summer cohort. Each team has the opportunity to focus on their startup or business idea while receiving $6,500 or up to $13,000, along with mentorship, accountability, and educational sessions on how to build a business.
By Samantha Dilocker, ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship
Founded by recent Iowa State graduate Gabe Huinker, RecHelper is a web application designed to fill the gaps within recreation services. It is built to be flexible and work alongside the organization’s existing infrastructure so users can sign up and start using it without any hassle.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering from Iowa State University
Passionate about: Software, recreation and ideas
Most recently I: worked on RecHelper, worked out, did what I love
Currently working on: RecHelper
When did you start working on RecHelper?
I started working on initial ideas that weren’t necessarily related to RecHelper in 2018 and in 2019, stepped away from those to work specifically on RecHelper. The LLC was formed in 2019 as well.
Have you always seen yourself starting something?
Not at all. I originally came into college looking to be a surgeon and quickly found a love for software. I ended up switching to software engineering, and then this kind of just all happened! There’s just no way around it; this is what I want to do!
It combines my two passions! I worked in the recreational community as well as participated in many different areas. I see an opportunity to help not only organizations but the community in general to be more connected and open.
How have you grown since you started?
Personally, a lot of things have changed. What I want to do in the future has completely changed, as well as how I approach things and situations. Really how I view the world has changed because everything is focused on this.
What future milestones would you like to hit?
I want to make RecHelper public and help other organizations apart from Iowa State. The next step is to open up to the community as a whole.
What is your biggest challenge you face each day?
Time. Obviously, coding takes a lot of work, combining school and CYstarters, everything takes a lot of time.
How has entrepreneurship at Iowa State impacted you?
It got me to where I am! I now have the ability to actually pursue something I love. CYstarters gives me the opportunity and buffer to start something right out of school. Software engineering was great for learning technology but didn’t give me all the tools to start a business.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student?
Make every minute worth its 60 seconds. Whether that’s hanging out with friends, pursuing your passion, or finding your passion, make every minute count.
Where are you headed? And how would you invite others to join you?
My goal and where I’m hoping I’m going is creating a community that helps and grows recreation and makes it more open and available to everyone. I’m hoping through the things I create, people can see the value and vision of what I’m trying to do, and they’ll join in on the ride.
To learn more about RecHelper visit rechelper.com.