Rawls Alumnus Eric Rems Launches Innovative Web Company, AbridgeME
By: Trevor Bell
In a time where information is both abundant and easier to access than ever before, there still remains a relatively uninformed audience. Current Wall Street professional and 2006 alumnus Eric Rems, who holds degrees in Finance and Economics, aims to address this lack of knowledge through his new, innovative content and reference site: AbridgeME, a crowd-sourced platform which aims to provide a fact-based summary of any current or past topic in 100 words or less.
"AbridgeME is a one-stop resource for anybody with an Internet connection to get up to speed quickly on a topic. They no longer need to search in-depth for information such as reading biased news articles," Rems said. "AbridgeME will help other people learn. I would love for people to understand a topic and voice their own opinion instead of someone simply reading someone else's thoughts."
AbridgeME allows users to simply search for a subject that they would like to quickly learn more about, including current topics ranging from Arab Spring to 3D Printing and more historical topics such as The Boston Tea Party and World War II. The site, which also has a free corresponding iOS app, also incorporates a "random feed" option for users to gain knowledge in which they might not have found by searching on their own.
Rems, who serves as chief executive officer, led the entire product development, from the initial idea to product launch in less than five months. He credited the skills learned at Texas Tech University and the Rawls College of Business as instrumental toward his development. As an undergraduate, Rems was actively involved with the Tech Finance Association, Tech Marketing Association and Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
"My time at Texas Tech and the Rawls College was beneficial because it helped foster the connections and abilities needed to develop AbridgeME," he said. "My degree in Finance gave me the broad sense of all business, including management, marketing and accounting. The Rawls set me up well by giving me a solid knowledge base. I think one of the biggest things in business is knowing how different departments function with one another. One class in particular, organizational management with Phillip Flamm, helped showcase how business processes interact."
To help launch AbridgeME, Rems worked with a five-person international development team to build out the more technical aspects of site. Additionally, Rems assembled a writing team to provide content for the site, which currently has 500 articles. As the site grows, Rems hopes to use the crowd-sourced writing platform to help supply more summaries and let the content grow organically; all of which will be reviewed by the site's moderator.
"We're getting industry experts and knowledgeable individuals to write the summaries to ensure accurate, unbiased information is presented to the public," he said. "Also, by allowing the general public to provide summaries, we are not only helping them let their voice be heard, but we are also giving them a chance to strengthen their writing skills and build their portfolios."
In addition to AbridgeME, Rems currently works for one of the leading finance technology/brokerage firms in New York, GFI Group, with a focus on the technological and operational changes resulting from Dodd-Frank, the largest overhaul in the derivatives markets history.
While working full-time in New York and managing AbridgeME, Rems showcases how determination and belief in an idea - and yourself - can lead to remarkable things in the professional world, which is something he outlined for current students.
"Pursue your ideas. Even if the idea fails, the fact that you went out and tried it, you've proved that you have the mindset to succeed. Also, use your network of friends, families, Tech and Rawls graduates; people are willing to help. Put yourself out there, and choose what you want to do," he said.