“I’m a product of the startup and technology world,” said Rajveer “Raj” Singh Tut. “I want to inspire more people to think critically about technology and the startup industry as an option after graduating because of its high impact.”
From engineer, to consultant, to entrepreneur, Loyola Marymount University alumnus Raj Tut ’06 took an unconventional path for a mechanical engineering major.
“I really wanted an opportunity to experience and exercise all aspects of who I was. I did not just want to be an engineer but to experience all that LMU and life had to offer,” said Tut. In addition to being a resident assistant, he was active with the Accounting Society, American Society of Engineers, Spanish Club, Campus Ministry programs and more. He also made time to serve the community through his work with Ignatians, De Colores and Feed the Hungry.
“I think the fact that I got more than just an academic education at LMU was what really changed me,” said Tut, who was a 2006 Presidential Citation award recipient, recognized for academic excellence, as well as service and leadership in the university community.
Tut graduated from LMU with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering thinking he would earn his doctorate in mechanical engineering and become an academic. However after earning his master’s degree at Stanford in mechanical engineering, he found his true calling—entrepreneurship.
“Mechanical engineering is a longer cycle in terms that you create something and come up with an idea that could take months to build,” said Tut. “What really drew me towards technology and software, was that it was much faster to build something and then have people using it the day after.”
In 2008, Tut and a friend started a company called Togetherville, a social networking site made for children to learn, explore and engage freely with other children under parental supervision. Togetherville was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2012.
“I think the startup industry is incredibly rewarding in solving big problems, exercising all aspects of what you do, and is an amazing opportunity to connect with many industries,” said Tut.
From Togetherville, Tut went on to found and join multiple startup companies such as 1StudentBody, a mobile social network for teenagers, and Vouch, a loan system.
Tut believes that the education and type of people LMU produces helped guide him in becoming an entrepreneur in the startup industry.
“LMU put you in circles with people that are always pushing boundaries of not only themselves but the people around them,” said Tut. “LMU’s emphasis academically on education of the whole person for me made the education beyond valuable.”
Tut returned to campus recently for LMU’s Startup Weekend Powered by Google. He volunteered as a coach, assisting and guiding the student teams to assess the problem their business would address, then focus on building a profitable solution.
With the increase in the number of tech companies moving into Silicon Beach, Tut says that now is an amazing time for students to make industry connections, especially given the proximity to campus.