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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA entrepreneur ranked for innovative study tool

The Arizona Republic recently released its annual list of “Arizona’s top 35 entrepreneurs 35 and under,” and one of the winning companies has UA roots.

The list consists of Arizona-based companies and their founders, recognizing them for their achievements in business early in their careers. The businesses are classified by categories such as beauty, culinary and software.

Among the winners is Adeel Yang, who created the company Picmonic with his partner Ron Robertson while in their third year of medical school at the UA.

Picmonic is an online program intended for creative visual imaging, which utilizes visual learning styles that break the barriers of a traditional study guide. It allows students to explore different mediums for learning by combining interactivity and imaginative thinking and channeling them into studying.

Yang said they began working on the business because they saw that visual learning personally helped them and their classmates in medical school.

“It was July 2011 after we took our boards [and] we decided that this new modality of studying was very effective, and our friends really loved it,” Yang said.

They began work on the program from their homes in Tucson and started selling the product in January 2013, and, according to The Arizona Republic, they are expecting more than $1 million in sales by the end of the year.

“From the moment we started, we knew that we were on to something, because we had done a lot of research looking into the methodology on audio and visual learning,” Yang said.

Yang also attended the UA for his undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology and economics. Keisuke Hirano, head of the department of economics, said he is proud of the success of alumni and the current status of the department as a whole.

“The economics ranking really reflects the quality of the faculty, both in terms of their research and then turning that into great teaching for the students,” Hirano said.

Hirano said the department of economics thinks that Picmonic is an excellent example of what students are capable of.

“We are extremely proud of Adeel,” Hirano said. “He was an outstanding student, and we are very proud of his success. Economics is a great major because it prepares you for many different kinds of careers, and this is a great example.”

According to The Arizona Republic, the acknowledgment comes at the same time that Arizona is receiving praise for its entrepreneurial success, and that Yang and Robertson show that alumni are expanding their academic careers as they move forward from the university.

Yang has returned to medical school at the UA and will be finishing this year, while Robertson has decided to focus on Picmonic and expand on its success. Yang said he was humbled by the recognition from The Arizona Republic and is excited to be apart of the growing network of businesses in Arizona.

He added that he is excited for the future of the company and wants to expand it beyond medical students.

“We realized that this methodology … can be applied to many different learners,” Yang said, “so I am excited to take that next step and expand out the product to college students and, hopefully, to all learners.”


Follow Benny Sisson on Twitter.

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