Student creates Reltup, a social network for startups


Photo courtesy of Jordan Tan

Jordan Tan, junior in Engineering, presents his startup Reltup at SocialFuse.

By Luke Cooper, Contributing Writer

Student startups often struggle to connect with other businesses in the industry. But one University student hopes to create a social network that makes it easier for these companies to gain recognition.

Jordan Tan, junior in Engineering, founded and designed Reltup to connect and accommodate startups, people of talent, investors, tech enthusiasts and journalists.

Reltup originated from his own desire to connect with others who shared the same passion for entrepreneurship and to collaborate with people who possessed skills he lacked.

Reltup was included in the first round of teams at the South by Southwest’s Student Startup Madness’ semi-finals on Jan. 17. Tan was disqualified after the first round, but, despite this outcome, he feels far from defeated.

“I’m going to get into Cozad (a University startup competition) and win the championship. Believe me,” Tan said.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Currently, Reltup’s website is not entirely open to the public, with certain pages still not available for users to see. However, Tan said users can still sign up and update their profile.

The website is expected to launch on Feb. 13. Tan said he and his team will recruit users at the Founders Startup Career Fair on Feb. 9 as well.

Up until two weeks ago, Reltup had been a one-man endeavor with the exception of a freelancer Tan had enlisted to help code. However, as time went on, Tan realized he needed help in marketing Reltup to the public.

“When he first told me the idea, I was on the fence,” said Corey Weil, a recent Reltup hire and sophomore in Engineering.

Weil thought this type of social media platform for startups had already been made. However, after researching, he could not find a competitor.

“The idea of making a community of startups was genius,” Weil said. “I knew he found something special, and I wanted any part of it I could get.”

Users of the free social network have the ability to upload and follow each other’s startups in any stage of their development.

“Upload your own startup even if you have just founded it last night,” the website states.

Similar to social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, users can personalize their profile with info about themselves, their interests and skills. Members then connect with potential collaborators through a filtered search by a member’s talents, skills and interests.

Regardless of his passion for Reltup’s concept, Weil understands that success won’t come overnight. He and Tan are slowly building their audience.

“Getting those first 100 subscribers/users takes some time. But once you start, it snowballs, and before you know it you’re at a million,” Weil said. “We’re going to make a real difference soon … right after we win Cozad.”

[email protected]