Entrepreneurs of UCLA: Luke Chui
Luke Chui is the CTO of Kotu Printing, a Los Angeles-based printing solutions provider. He is currently a Computer Science freshman at UCLA. He grew up amidst technological innovation in the heart of Silicon Valley, attending Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto. He is passionate about sparking innovation amongst students and is a believer of disruptive technologies.
S: How did you get involved with Kotu Printing?
L: It was actually through Bruin Entrepreneurs. I was at a meeting last quarter, around second or third week, and a guy came up to my friend Shaun, saying that he had a good idea and was looking for some coders. Shaun then referred them to me, and that’s how it all got started. Within the next couple of weeks, we pushed something out to the market and it went from there. Kotu is a great place for me to start as an entrepreneur and to learn.
S: What brought you to the BE meeting in the first place?
L: A really good friend of mine, a guy I worked with at a previous startup, told me Bruin Entrepreneurs was an up and coming club that fostered young entrepreneurs and is trying to cultivate the startup culture. I came the first week, was late, and met the team. Everyone was really nice and we talked a lot about business, stuff I’m interested in, and the organization. After that, I kept on coming.
S: In your opinion, what is an entrepreneur?
L: In the modern day vernacular, an entrepreneur is pretty much a hustler. They got an idea, they want to pursue it. They have a vision, means of making the product and iterating on that to meet the market demand.
“Entrepreneurs are doers, not coaches or mentors.”
S: Do you think you should create a product for the consumer or create it for yourself and let the consumers follow?
L: There’s got to be a balance to that. You can’t always make what you want. Others may not want that. Like if you wanted to make a bendy pencil, you might think its greatest invention of all time. But no one apart from 5 year olds would want that. You have twist and mold your ideas to fit consumers needs.
S: Was Kotu your first venture into entrepreneurialism?
L: I was a big hacker back in high school. Even though I worked at MobiSocial I wouldn’t call it entrepreneurial since I wasn’t producing anything new. Me and my friends built a lot of stuff though, like we made a matchmaking service for prom and homecoming. At one hackathon, we produced something that was directed towards students with high anxiety and stress that uses cognitive behavioral therapy. We didn’t push it to market or anything but it was a fun project to build.
S: What’s your vision for entrepreneurship at UCLA?
L: Right now, we’re a pretty niche community. Over this school year, there seems to be growth in the community. But, it takes time. I want it to be like Stanford, you know, where everyone’s talking about something creative. We’re too research dominant right now as a school. I want people to actually be more innovative. Silicon Valley has grown significantly over the past 20 years and all of the big names stem from Stanford. And VCs latch on to them there. This will slowly move into cities like New York and Los Angeles and I think UCLA will catch on from there. That’s the dream.
“I need more hits on my website!”
For more about Luke, visit his website: lukechui.com