Max Irvine ’17 wears a shirt showing off his company’s logo. Photo: Max Irvine

After graduating from Pace in May 2017, Max Irvine began his gap year by creating his own company, Rocket Dev. Following his success in the Pace Social Entrepreneurship Challenge with the idea of SIP, a water bottle that could track water intake on an app, Irvine decided to take what he learned from that process and translate it into not just creating a new idea, but actually making that idea come to life.

“The lessons I learned during the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge have had a direct translation to my company,” said Irvine. “Launching the company has been rather effortless because of my prior knowledge.” He added that some skills he learned at Pace, such as putting in daily effort on homework, have helped him throughout this process as he works 12-14 hours a day most every day of the week. Irvine’s sister, junior Carly Irvine, has taken note of this. “I think everyone can see that Max has found his place coding and we’re all really proud of him and all the hard work that he has put into this,” she said.

Irvine described Rocket Dev as beginning more or less by coincidence. Irvine’s dad asked him for input and help with the development of his own personal websites after paid developers hadn’t created what he wanted after eight months. Before long, Irvine took on this job as his own. “After that project, I knew there was a market for company owners who are less technologically savvy,” said Irvine.

Since then, he has worked on different projects as well as continuing to work on his dad’s websites. Rocket Dev develops websites for companies, designs logos, develops apps and helps companies on other technological aspects. “My company’s mission is to not only develop technology for company owners, but we seek to help them understand the technology we create for them,” said Irvine. 

As for Irvine’s plans for the rest of his gap year, he heads to Australia and Southeast Asia on Jan. 10. “I hope to travel for six months, but my time frame will depend on the amount of revenue I generate through the business,” he said. While traveling, Irvine will split his time between continuing work with his clients and exploring and becoming acquainted with the cultures of his destinations.