Rady School Students Participate in Entrepreneur's Revolutionary Online Start-Up
Ubokia was born in response to one simple question: Why? Why, in this age of social networks, constant conversations and instant personalization, is it so hard to get what we want? Mark Pine, a graduate of UC San Diego's Revelle College, says it is because we've had the equation backwards. Instead of focusing on what people have to sell, we should be focusing on individual wants, and building a community to help fulfill them. Ubokia is that community. Like a reverse Craigslist, Ubokia.com shifts the buying paradigm with a revolutionary want-centric, community-driven platform that puts the user in control of the buying experience. Post exactly what you want — a bicycle, a volunteer, to raise money for charity — and the Ubokia community will help you find it. Taking the want ad a step further, members of Ubokia.com are able to share wants with friends and associates through social networks.
A visionary and seasoned entrepreneur, Pine founded Ubokia last year with the help of students from the Rady School. Their initial involvement entailed conducting market research for the firm under the guidance of Rady faculty. The opportunity afforded students hands-on, real-world experience in the start-up realm and allowed them to apply some of the key concepts explored in the school's signature Lab to Market courses. This past summer, student groups conducted research for potential launch strategies with the goal of finding the most viable ideas and developing a business case for pursuing their proposed strategies. The site launched in September.
Ubokia is just the latest in a long string of Pine's entrepreneurial successes. Pine cofounded Digimedics, a medical computer company, while attending UC San Diego. Digimedics developed one of the first microprocessor-based medical applications and, after merging with Intermedics, went public in 1991. He also cofounded Parallel Computers, which developed and sold fault tolerant UNIX-based computers.
Subsequently, he joined two computer companies, Arix and Sybase, leading them through several years of rapid record growth. After taking a few years off, he cofounded OnDisplay, an e-business application platform company that became one of the top 10 best performing IPOs of 1999.