Penn State Alumni Found Reklist To Enhance Streaming Experience
Dan Levy, Lindsay Borgen, and Chris Daly are Penn State graduates and the creators of a new online service that they want to share with the world of internet entertainment streaming.
Their website, Reklist, is designed to allow users to quickly and easily save, rate, and recommend movies and shows they’ve watched online. The site is designed to eliminate the hassle of scrolling through the host of suggested shows on streaming sites that are often relatively unrelated to the user’s most-watched favorites.
Algorithm-based suggestions for movies and TV shows already exist. But the creators of Reklist wanted to create a platform by which suggestions came from friends and family, making the experience of searching for a new show more personal and efficient. The site allows users to send and receive suggestions, create a personal playlist, and mark or rate titles. A newsfeed will also show users what their friends and family are watching.
“We created Reklist because we kept forgetting about shows and movies our friends recommended to us, and we knew this wasn’t a problem only we were having,” said Levy, who graduated in 2011. “We’d recommend things to watch and get recommendations while out at parties, and would always forget them by the time we were ready to watch.”
The site’s three co-founders were heavily involved in THON as students, and served as executive chairs for Atlas, a special interest organization. Levy and Daly lived on the same floor of Atherton Hall for a year, and the pair met Borgen after they had become close friends. Levy believes that the leadership experience his team gained during its time with Atlas — which involved organizing fundraisers and events — was crucial in building its collective ability to lead a company after graduation.
Levy also had prior experience in building a company from the ground up.
“I actually started a company when I graduated from Penn State in 2011 — Atlas College Marketing, which I still run today — so I’ve always had some confidence that we could build this business,” he said. “The truth, though, is that we were still a bit naive when we first started this journey.”
Levy explained that having entrepreneurial experience was helpful because it inspired him to believe that he could create a company from nothing. But Levy, Borgen, and Daly aren’t computer programmers, so they had to work to find the right person to build the technological side of the company.
In the near future, the creators of Reklist hope to expand their base of users by creating an interface that everyone can enjoy. They’re focused on making it easy to send, receive, and store recommendations.
“The long term vision is to expand outside of movies and TV shows to other things that people recommend to each other — podcasts, books, music, restaurants, and more,” Levy said. “The same problems we all have when deciding what to watch are also prevalent when deciding what to listen to, read, and so on, so our goal is to help people in all of those areas as well.”
Levy’s advice to students hoping to start a company is simple: Go for it. Considering recent, large-scale donations to the Happy Valley LaunchBox, Levy believes that Penn State is doing a good job of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of State College. He recognizes that he and his co-founders didn’t have the same opportunities that are available to today’s undergraduates, and that support from the university can make a significant difference.
“I once saw speakers at Penn State — the guys from The Buried Life — who talked about thinking of your dream as a project, since projects seem attainable,” Levy explained. “Just start somewhere, complete that step, move to another step, and keep making progress.”
You can create your own Reklist account and start suggesting TV shows and movies here.