TIA inCite’s Passion for Business

Sasha Balasanav, Maroon News Staff

Originally from Dorchester, Dorset in the UK and currently living in Tennessee, senior Franklin van Nes was initially attracted to Colgate because of its beautiful rural surroundings of Madison County. However, it was the intelligent and kind students and faculty that really drew him in. 

“If an institution was able to consistently produce such substantive and good people, then I wanted to endure that same process too,” van Nes said.

Van Nes, a computer science major, feels that Colgate has helped him develop the ability to ask the right critical thinking questions and to find the confidence to communicate with people, both skills that are necessary for success in any industry. 

“[Asking critical thinking questions] is hugely important for entrepreneurship, because it means that I am equipped when I hit a roadblock,” van Nes said.

At Colgate, van Nes has been able to practice these skills while building his own personal brand. 

Van Nes is passionate about finding creative solutions to software problems. This passion led him to join TIA his sophomore year, and even though it took him a few tries to find something he was truly interested in working on, he was introduced to inCite by a mentor at TIA, Oak Atkinson, where he found his place. Seniors Zac Hamilton and Sarah DeMarco had been working on inCite for a while but had been unsure about several software development challenges that van Nes was able to solve.

“[Hamilton and DeMarco] had discovered a problem that seems so obvious now, but has always been considered the status quo: all students hate writing citations. Since then we have been pitching and creating a solution to this problem. It’s been so much fun,” van Nes said.

InCite is software that creates and inserts correct citations into a paper as you are writing it by monitoring any research and writing you do. It eliminates the hassle caused by the endless citation websites and complicated guidelines.

“You could spend less time on citations and more time writing a better paper or enjoying the college experience,” van Nes said.

Some of the people that have helped van Nes along the way are the Director of TIA, Mary Galvez and Alumni Executive Director of TIA, Wills Hapworth.

“They have created such an incredible environment for entrepreneurship at Colgate through TIA,” van Nes said.

Although inCite, TIA and Computer Science are all major parts of van Nes’ life at Colgate, he does not limit himself to only those subjects. He has been on the practice women’s basketball team all four years and is also the president of Broad Street Records.

“Neither of these experiences have influenced what I want to do, they’re just something I have fun with. I guess I want to have fun,” van Nes said.

Van Nes recently received a TIA Seed Grant with which he can now accomplish even more than he already has with access to essential resources. He is unsure of what his post-graduation plans are, but he will undoubtedly continue doing what he loves. 

When asked what advice he has for incoming students, van Nes says: “I think if you’re already passionate about computer science or entrepreneurship, then get as involved in those fields as possible. It can be easy to only focus on the technical aspects of a business if you like to “nerd-out,’ but remember to give attention to the non-technical parts of the business, too. It’ll be those parts that often make or break a business. Don’t be intimidated by these fields, and while entrepreneurship is dense with tech startups, your business doesn’t have to revolve around technology, too.” 

Contact Sasha Balasanav at [email protected]