Angela Choi, a City College graduate who switched from teaching to entrepreneurship, returned to CCNY recently. She addressed a group of students about her new venture.
The class of hopeful journalists listened as Choi spoke about Frip, her startup company focused on making it easier for teachers to find and plan new, off-the-beaten path field trips in New York. Through the website, fripapp.com, teachers can look at a list of locations in New York City broken down by student age and subject matter and book them for class trips.
Choi stumbled upon the idea for Frip while working as a kindergarten and second grade teacher in the New York City school system. There, she struggled to find and plan field trips to interesting local attractions. “When I was searching for a specific field trip, there were no really good websites where teachers can find and book trips at the same time,” said Choi, her sense of frustration clear. “I thought, there needs to be a faster way of doing this.”
She took that frustration and put it to good use with her friend and company co-founder, Moustafa Elshaabiny. Together they came up with the idea for the company and applied to the Zahn Innovation Center of CCNY, to get their idea off the ground. This startup incubator located on campus provides resources for budding entrepreneurs. The duo was accepted to the center months later in January. It only took 10 weeks to create Frip’s website. “I was there every day from about 9 AM to 10 PM every night with my teammates,” said Choi, talking about her daily experience during the 10 weeks it took to create Frip’s website. “I loved the creativity and the fast pace.”
Choi drove home the point that you can’t be afraid to follow your dreams. “Students are not encouraged to fail enough,” said Choi in response to a question about the risk she took in pursuing her idea.” I quit my teaching job and decided to do this full time in June.”
Choi and her partners have an eye on the future, looking to move beyond the borders of the big apple in the coming years. “We plan to expand to our second city.” said Choi. “It will probably be Los Angeles and then Chicago.”