Founder of the Week: Peter Chen

If you only learn one thing from Peter, it should be that:

Persistence is key. Challenges are inevitable, but it’s the mindset and method with which you tackle these challenges that really defines what an entrepreneur is.

Growing up in a shop that sold bare computer parts after his parents moved into the city from a rural village in Eastern China, Peter (Baile) Chen, the adults around him told him to take jobs that were common for his area. That means aiming low and becoming a waiter or a truck driver. However, Peter knew that that was their ceiling, not his. Today, he channels his experience with a lack of support and mentorship in his youth to become the co-founder of Peer, and has grown to fit his true potential.

Peer is a peer-to-peer mobile app that connects high school students with qualified college student mentors with similar experiences and interests in order to bridge the knowledge and opportunity in the Asian youth demographic. His company addresses the scarcity for mentorship for a large portion of youths in America — ⅓ to be exact — which can greatly impact these individuals lives. The advice that engaged high school students may receive include anything from academic advice to career guidance to general life tips.

As a freshman, Peter is already an accomplished entrepreneur, but he also notes that time management is a challenge at this point in his life. His academic course load may make balancing his entrepreneurship responsibilities difficult. This doesn’t stop him from achieving numerous prestigious accomplishments, though. Peer has secured funding from both the Penn Wharton Innovation Fund, and landed a place in the WeissLab Accelerator’s current cohort, along with winning several prizes.