Heroes Among Us: Colby Kotzen

The following interview is part of a class assignment for Entrepreneurship and the Hero Adventure at SMU, Meadows School of the Arts. Each interview has been

conducted and created by students for this course, which celebrates those heroes in our communities. Heroism, for the purpose of this course and assignment is described as: 

  • Service of something larger than oneself.
  • A willingness to sacrifice in the name of service.

Author: SMU student Joey Arsenio

The following interview is with SMU student Colby Kotzen

Colby, would you first tell me some basic or background information on Bonfyre.

Colby: Bonfyre is a phone app started by Off Campus Media. Its all about sharing experiences– sharing photos, group chats, and saving memories.

Can you answer these questions to the best of your ability if they apply to you.

What called you to start or take part in Bonfyre?

Colby: I heard about the app through a friend. Bonfyre was looking for a way to launch on a few campuses in the US so I applied to be an ambassador for SMU.

Did somebody urge you to take part in this?

Colby: Not exactly, a friend of mine (who was one of the other ambassadors) encouraged me to apply.

What obstacles did you encounter in the beginning?

Colby: In the beginning it was really difficult to get people to download the app. A lot of people questioned its purpose and thought it was just like a group chat.

How did you over come these obstacles?

Colby: We overcame that obstacle by finding things that college kids enjoyed and tying it in with the product…we bought a bunch of kegs at a bar and everyone that wanted free beer had to show that they downloaded the app and had to actively use it that night.

Did you come across any Mentor figures/ what advice or help did they give you?

Colby: My mentor figure was my boss Jake who checked in with us weekly to see how things were going and give us advice on ways we could get more active users.

Do you find that you have been successful in this project/ was if rewarding?

Colby: I feel like working on Bonfyre was pretty successful, it was definitely hard since it was a new product, but it definitely showed me how much hard work goes in to launching a product.

How did this project change you over time?

Colby: I don’t know if the project changed me exactly, I just think it furthered my understanding of marketing, communications, and sales. Unlike school projects, Bonfyre was real and I had to work hard to meet deadlines and increase my numbers.



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