We’re celebrating Indiana University student innovators and entrepreneurs who are clients of the Shoebox, the university’s student-startup incubator. Located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center in Luddy Hall, the Shoebox provides 24/7 office space to help student entrepreneurs build, launch and sustain their businesses.
Rohan Bhatia, Will Hobick and Sanil Sawlani are cofounders of Frap. Bhatia is a junior media advertising major from Ambler, Pennsylvania; Hobick is a junior marketing, informatics and human-centered computing major from Zionsville, Indiana; and Sawlani is a junior finance major from South Fayette, Pennsylvania.
“Frap targets three types of clients,” Sawlani said. “Greek life executives at the local chapter level, Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Association chapters at a university level and national Greek organizations looking to better support and provide resources to their chapters.”
Bhatia said there can be a mismatch or lack of communication tools and forms at the local chapter level, which can result in decreased chapter sizes, miscommunication, lack of fundraising or even a chapter being banned from campus.
“IFC and PHA chapters often fail to provide the necessary tools to Greek chapters on and off-campus, resulting in inconsistent enforcement of guidelines,” Bhatia said. “With outdated event management methods and oversight, these organizations that are meant to oversee the community spend time instead on putting out fires rather than mitigating them in the first place.”
Bhatia said another problem is that national Greek organizations struggle to provide chapters with safe, effective fundraising methods, apparel purchasing and chapter management.
Hobick said Frap provides its clients with tools and resources to keep local chapters aligned with university and national guidelines, including an announcement system, event calendar, live event statistics and ticketing system, apparel customization, dues collection and files storage.
“IFC and PHA chapters can ensure safety within the Greek community by providing chapters with tools to manage events, collect dues and provide beneficial university resources. National Greek organizations can ensure more efficient dues collection and even earn additional revenue through apparel royalties,” Hobick said.
“Frap pays for itself within a year, and even offers a free version including announcements, dues collections and apparel customization.”
Frap client testimonial
Cole Nachman, vice president of communications at Zeta Beta Tau at the University of Maryland, said Frap helped ensure the safety of those attending the fraternity’s social and philanthropic events.
“Frap allowed us to not only manage the events live, but also save the information if needed in the future,” Nachman said. “We love the idea of everything in one app, keeping all of our resources for members in one place.”
Frap’s present and future
Frap has completed a $50,000 seed funding round and executed an apparel partnership with Merch.House. It also has been onboarded at Greek houses at multiple universities across the country.
“Our team has worked hard, pitching at events and conferences,” Bhatia said. “We plan to push marketing efforts hard coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and into the spring 2021 semester.”
Sawlani said Frap is looking for connections to national Greek chapters and other universities around the nation.
“Whether that be current Greek life members, Greek alumni, or national organization employees, our goal is to provide chapters with the tools to better fund, support and safely manage themselves and their members,” Sawlani said.
Praise for the Shoebox
“Frap was started within the Shoebox. As three entrepreneurial students, Will, Sanil and I came together with a unique set of skills to solve a problem that was widely recognized,” Bhatia said. “Utilizing the physical space for meetings, Shoebox clients for ideation sessions, and its faculty for mentorship, our team has found great success and mentored other groups within the center.”
Student startups can apply for 24/7 access to the Shoebox’s office space, which is located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center, Luddy Hall 2150. The Shoebox also collaborates with the Hoosier Hatchery pre-incubator at the Kelley School of Business and Bloomington’s Dimension Mill startup accelerator. To apply for coworking space, write to email@example.com.