USC Alumna Reaches Major Success In Early Funding For Her Startup: Rotate

By Shamillah Iga

Recent Marshall graduate and female founder, Jennifer Zhang, has far exceeded multiple funding goals through her Kickstarter campaign for her watchmaking kit company: Rotate. 

Rotate is a startup that makes custom watchmaking easy for the average consumer by supplying everything needed in the process including premium-quality checked parts, all-inclusive tools, a user-friendly guide and assistance through online support. They currently supply three flagship styles for customers to choose from.

Zhang began working on Rotate a little over a year ago with two other students as part of an entrepreneurship class in the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Combining their multiple disciplines in Business and Architecture Zhang and her classmates became business partners and began working to create and design what is now Rotate. Zhang attributes her passion to Rotate to her hobby of watchmaking and her ability to identify a gap within the market. 

“I saw that there was so much opportunity [in the watchmaking industry] because it is an old industry with little innovation.”

Early on, Rotate has performed phenomenally on the crowdfunding site by exceeding its original funding goal of $15,000 in just two days. About a week after this Rotate was chosen by the Kickstarter staff for the prestigious “Project We Love” distinction. Following this achievement Rotate doubled its funding in less than a week, raising over $40,000 in total and surpassing the team’s stretch goal of $35,000.

When asked if she had any advice for other founders she replied

“The journey isn’t as hard or daunting as it may seem, ultimately it’s all about taking baby steps every day and each little step is easy so, don’t let the big picture scare you away from starting.”

Update: Since talking to Zhang Rotate’s Kickstarter campaign has exceeded several stretch goals and has thus far raised over $70,000! View their campaign on Kickstarter here 

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