Full-time UNC student runs a corporation
Linker Logic Technologies Inc., founded by CEO Ritwik Pavan when he was a high school junior, designs apps for businesses.
The price to get an app made by the Chapel Hill-based company, which has worked on 38 apps and has 14 ongoing projects, ranges from $25,000 to more than $100,000.
One of the business’ customers is Quentin Jackson, who had an idea for an app that connects college coaches with high school athletes who want an athletic scholarship. Jackson said that Linker Logic was instrumental to his company’s success.
“We’ve gone from a company valued at $0 to a company that will potentially sell for $30 to $50 million dollars within the next two years,” Jackson said.
Herman Hill, a sports official at the high school and collegiate level, wanted to develop an app to help referees. He said the app is in the works at Linker Logic.
“They make you want to work with them,” Hill said. “You give them a concept, they take it from a small (idea), then turn it into a huge concept.”
Linker Logic began as just a guy with an idea, or rather a teenager who had already developed two apps: one for his religious organization, iGokulam, and one game called Flappy Yeet. Pavan, a sophomore computer science and business major, began the journey of making people’s ideas for apps, websites and software when he was a junior at Enloe High School.
Evan Gallagher, Linker Logic’s 19-year-old project manager and sophomore at Syracuse University, said Pavan is a great leader.
“He leads not only by example but exemplifies someone as a role model,” Gallagher said. “If I’m feeling like I don’t really want to do this today, I know he’s going to be here with coffee in hand ready to go even if everybody else isn’t.”
Pavan said that Linker Logic has experienced some difficulties, such as teamwork, but there is one major obstacle still blocking the company’s way forward.
“We’re right in the center of being a startup and being a full on company,” Pavan said. “That’s the biggest struggle right now because the transition is difficult.”
Age doesn’t seem to be a problem for Pavan’s team or his clients either. One employee, 18-year-old Leesville Road High School senior Mason Robertson, said his lack of experience wasn’t a problem for Pavan.
“I see him as a mentor,” Robertson said. “He knew (I wasn’t) the complete best, but he was aiming to build a community of a common age and mindset.”
Pavan said he looks beyond age when adding people to the team.
“More than your skill and talent, I look a lot at character and motivation,” Pavan said. “If you’re a motivated person of high character I believe you can make anything that you want to happen, happen.”
Even though Pavan is now a full-time student at UNC, said he still notices the reaction his clients get when they discover the team’s ages.
“Usually the look on their face is priceless,” Pavan said. “As soon as we’ve shown up the work that we’ve done, age is not a barrier.”
Jackson said he doesn’t see the team’s age as a barrier.
“As an older man, you would be hesitant to deal with high school-aged kids,” Jackson said. “But the unique thing that they brought to the table was their ability to listen, understand and implement what I was trying to do.”
Hill reiterated the sentiment.
“There’s an old soul in these young guys,” Hill said. “It surprises me that you have a group of creative people that have this much knowledge about app development at such a young age and they’re still able to see the big picture.”
Pavan said he wants Linker Logic to reach out to companies making advancements in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, internet of things and virtual reality and expand to an international clientele.
“I made that commitment to myself where I said that if there’s something I want to do, I’m going to make it happen,” Pavan said.
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