Dec 8, 2010

UC Grad Develops Concept Company to Connect Design Student Freelancers with Businesses

UC DAAP alumnus Adam Treister
wants to help businesses save money by
connecting them with student designers.
(Photo courtesy of
Kenny Kemp,
Do you remember finishing big projects in college, only to end up throwing them out or filing them away with the rest of your memorabilia, never to be used again?

My name is Adam Treister, and my time as a DAAP architecture student at the University of Cincinnati included about 10 of these projects. I worked extremely hard trying to impress professors and classmates, later to find that all of my hard work received mere letter grades to denote my successes. My guess is that many recent grads can relate to this.

Since graduation, I have studied this issue and have created an idea for a company that connects talented students with businesses that could push their ideas beyond the classroom. It’s called Student Designed, and it takes the form of a technology firm and social networking website.

Here’s how it works:
•    Companies, organizations and government agencies would create accounts with Student Designed and request proposals for creative work.
•    Businesses would pay design students for their projects -- significantly less than what they'd spend to hire an established design firm.
•    Professors would help to facilitate this process by organizing class projects based on real-life problems, and by guiding students using their proven expertise.
•    Depending upon the size and scale of the project, classrooms could either reinvest the money on the experience, or compensate students directly.

Students have often freelanced with businesses, and businesses have even sought long-term relationships with universities. The problem is that this process is complicated, and most businesses don’t have the resources to pursue it. Student Designed will streamline the interaction, allowing businesses and students to easily collaborate.

Can’t afford a laptop or next semester’s tuition? Are your customers not interested in your classic way of thinking? Just recommend that your professor or boss make your next project “Student Designed.”

Watch the Student Designed YouTube video, and e-mail any questions to

How do you think your company could benefit from a service like Student Designed? Comment below!

Adam submitted his idea into the Pepsi Refresh Project for the month of November, but unfortunately wasn't selected. Treister's idea was one of 1,000 entries competing for $25,000 to jump start their business venture.

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