Humans of SHU: student’s competitive spirit drives business

Since launching his application development business, Alpha Dev, in late December 2016, junior accounting and economics major Michael Solimini has created apps for companies such as Hazel Boutique and Outcast Sport Fishing.

His inspiration came last summer after taking a $10 online course in iOS application development. Solimini explained that he enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of app development and his competitive drive allowed him to grow the business. He went on to say that he usually reaches out to prospective clients via social media. 

Michael Solimini launched his business in December 2016 and hopes to see it grow. Photo via Mike Solimini.

“Now that I’m into it, I want more and more,” Solimini said. “Every day I’m messaging people on Instagram. I’ve sent out so many direct messages on Instagram that I got banned for six hours. It happens to me every day.”

In addition to apps, Alpha Dev also specializes in creating Snapchat filters and websites. Solimini said that he hopes to extend these services to many of Seton Hall’s clubs and organizations. In fact, Solimini worked on Snapchat filters for Alpha Sigma Phi that they plan to use for a variety of events throughout the year.

Alpha Sigma Phi’s president, Ryan Goldberg, highlighted Solimini’s cooperative spirit.

“He really knows how to work with us and has helped us create something extra special for our events,” Goldberg said. “I commend him for going into a social media field.”

The fraternity’s Social Chair, Miles Nash, explained that they chose Solimini for the task in part for the affordability of his services.

“There are other companies on campus that charge $45 for the most basic filter,” Nash said. “Mike charges a flat fee of $25 and will do whatever we ask.”

Solimini explained that he usually offers potential clients a service for free to encourage future business with them.

“I think it’s really important to build that trust in the beginning,” Solimini said. “I think building that initial trust with something free, something they love, and really going over the top for them that first time is really what makes the difference later on.”

Currently, Alpha Dev is a solo venture and Solimini said he is constantly working on projects and refining his craft. Additionally, he had some ideas for Alpha Dev possibly branching out into cyber security in the future. However, he acknowledged that the market is constantly changing.

“You can’t really predict where you are going to go,” Solimini explained. “I think it’s more reacting to the market and where the market goes.”

Julie Trien can be reached at julie.trien@student.shu.edu.