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Meet Byeonghun Kim from Purdue, USA!

I’m a sophomore in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University and also am a co-founder of Wasta, a non-profit organization that connects entrepreneurs in third-world countries to students as consultants in classroom settings. I have a big passion for social innovation, and my interest lies in redefining the energy industry, electrifying and digitalizing automotive and manufacturing systems, and alleviating global poverty. I also work on a research team to advance the smart grid technology, and I hope to start a company soon in such field!

Why do you do what you do?

I’m a first-generation immigrant, and I haven’t seen my parents in South Korea since the junior year of high school. Since they left the U.S., several families from my church, who have never met my family, have taken me in as their own and pointed me in the right direction. I know that I would not be where I am now without their constant love and support, and I’ve learned to have compassion for people without expecting anything in return. My goal is to go to bed every night thinking that I used my gifts and talents to make a positive impact in people’s lives though social innovation and cutting-edge technology.

What’s new for West Lafayette?

Purdue Startups! There’s a lot going on here with endless innovation that happens on campus, and there’s numerous opportunities for students to start something new. Many of them stay nearby and base their companies in the area.

What’s new at Purdue?

Techstars Startup Weekend and Purdue’s Co-Ed Entrepreneurship Fraternity! Our organization just started last year, and we bring many new entrepreneurial events to Purdue (including Startup Weekend) with a mission to foster the innovative spirit on and off campus. There are endless opportunities for student startups, with a huge center for entrepreneurship and other organizations to support student innovators in all sorts of ways!

Final remarks?

I’m a young, student entrepreneur, so I have a lot to learn! If you have specific ways to guide me to become a better startup founder and builder of Purdue’s startup ecosystem, please feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to talk!


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Jordan Rothenberg Jordan Rothenberg
Jordan is the Manager for Techstars’ community programs including Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Digest and Startup Week in the Central United States region. @jsrothenberg