Archive for Blog

Zollipops: The Lollipops That Clean Your Teeth

At just 7 years old, Alina Morse saw a need to be filled while in line at the bank. The bank teller offered her a lollipop, but Alina refused because her parents always told her that sugar was bad for her teeth. Exasperated, she later asked her father, “Why can’t we make a lollipop that’s actually good for your teeth?”

From that moment on, the two started working on what later became known as Zollipops. Alina’s father helped with $750 of the startup cost and Alina saved up her money until she had enough to start the company. The whole family participates in running the Zollipops company, and Alina calls herself the “idea person.” She uses her imagination to come up with new products and flavors.

Not only are Zollipops sugar free and made with natural ingredients, but they are also beneficial for your teeth. The company has further expanded to offer Zolli Drops (comparable to hard candy) and Zaffi Taffy. All of these products are held to the same standard of good ingredients that are safe for dental health. They are available in a variety of flavors from mint to assorted fruit flavors.

At such a young age, Alina was able to see a gap that may only be seen from a child’s perspective. I admire the responsibility she demonstrated in caring about dental health, and her desire to provide a way for children to enjoy lollipops without all of the damaging ingredients. Her perspective challenges me to look for gaps I may not see in my daily life since I am no longer a child.

Alina exhibits a drive and passion for her company, and I believe that is one of the reasons why she is successful. She cares about her product because it was a personal “pain” she felt and so she did something about it. I strive to have the perceptiveness in recognizing and solving the pains and inconveniences I encounter in my everyday life.

Pit It! Pinterest.

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There is an online platform that many individuals, particularly millennials, enjoy. Well, often it’s a procrastination mechanism, at least it is for me. Pinterest allows you to save links to various sites including (but not limited to) retail sites and blogs. “Pins”, as they are called, are categorized and browse-able. With one simple click on the image, your computer, tablet or smartphone immediately links to the site from which the picture was pinned. This allows a user to collect and share others ideas, styles, thoughts, quotes, travels and just about anything you could think to take a snap shot of. I have certainly found myself spending a lot of time on this virtual creativity board.

Ben Silberman, born in 1982, co-founded the virtual pin-board known as Pinterest. Silberman is an internet entrepreneur and acts as the CEO of Pinterest. Silberman is quite the accomplished man. He participated in a prestigious high school research program at MIT, and he later graduated from Yale with his undergraduate degree. Silberman worked at Google in the online advertising group, until he started creating his own apps. Silberman said he thought of Pinterest because he has always liked to collect things. Now, with Pinterest, we can all collect ideas!

Olan Rogers

Olan Rogers is best known for his personality. Because, quite simply, personality what he conveys most through all that he does. While Olan Rogers was  best known for his comedic stories he tells on his YouTube channel, his personality shines through all the many other projects he has started.

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Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Olan rogers started his video blog series back in 2010 after graduating from the University of Memphis with Bachelor’s in Communication and Visual Arts. Since, starting his youtube channel, it has accumulated quite a subscriber base in the past six years. This is mostly due to his charming and hilarious story-telling videos that have gone viral multiple times. However, this is not all that his YouTube channel provides. In addition to stories and short, comedic sketches, his channel also hosts his feature length indie professional films recognized by IMDB.com such as Pop Rocket and New Prime.

Additionally, Rogers has launched his own clothing supply store where he sells merchandise related to his video content as well as apparel displaying art or clever sayings. Since launching his online clothing store, Rogers also opened The Soda Parlor, a store that provides a welcoming and chill atmosphere, selling apparel, artisan sodas, and floats. The Soda Parlor is located in Nashville and a second location will be opening later this Fall.

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Beginning in 2017, Olan Rogers will be starting production on three more film projects under his newest project, Battle Bear Productions LLC. Under Battle Bear, Olan will provide animated tv shows as well as continuations of other film projects that he has started on his YouTube channel.

Feel free to check out his content below!

https://www.youtube.com/user/OlanRogers

http://olanrogerssupply.com/

https://www.facebook.com/olanrogersofficial

How To Cake It: A Sweet Business Idea

1430491ed0ba289134cb2033b20500e1As a communications major, I have been wondering if there are millennials out there who have used entertainment routes to start their business. YouTube, though known for popular cat videos, has created an outlet for entrepreneurs to express their niche in the community and get a following. Through ads and merchandise, many of these youtubers have been able to make a living off a once purely entertainment field. A rising youtuber, by the name of Yolanda Gampp, (probably known by her business as “How To Cake It”) has been growing in popularity within the past year. Yolanda, a self-taught baker after her father, has been posting YouTube videos about how to make really cool cake designs…and when I say really cool…I mean realistic to the point that it’s crazy to think it’s cake! I happen to follow her on YouTube and have enjoyed watching every video her team has posted over the past year. Yolanda also customizes her own tee-shirts (a different tee-shirt for every cake she makes) along with other merchandise that can be sold at howtocakeit.com. Yolanda and her team work to produce high quality weekly videos, and just recently How To Cake It won a Webby Award for Best Online Film and Video How-to & DIY.photo

As a mere 32 year old from Canada, Yolanda has created a business that many have grasped on to (Over 2 million subscribers to How To Cake It, and those numbers continue to grow). My hope for Yolanda and her team is to watch them grow in success, and I wait in anticipation to see what other amazing ideas they put forward into the world. Yolanda is a big inspiration to me. As a communications major, YouTube is an amazing outlet to start a career… but me just as a person, I look and I see Yolanda succeeding at her line of work, because she found something she loved. Her business is great because it combines that aesthetic appeal people crave, and also a unique skill that only she has perfected. She is innovative in her techniques for creating different cake pieces, and her skill is what has captured many people’s intrigue. A degree does not define her, but instead an entertaining and respectable mindset. That is what makes her a millennial entrepreneur. Anyone can make a cake. I can make a cake! But few can turn a cake into a watermelon with such great detail and creativity. Her personality is also fantastic, which leaves me as the viewer, always hungry for more. Check out the link and let me know what you guys think!

 

Vivy Yusof, the Malaysian Fashion Entrepreneur

Young Vivy Yusof built a Southeast Asia fashion e-commerce site from nothing but a frustrating shopping experience and a personal blog. After returning from studying in London, Vivy and her husband had the idea to bring online shopping to Malaysia after driving in heavy traffic from shop to shop in the rain. They started Fashion Valet in 2010 with a capital of MYR100,000 (about $24,000), 10 designers and 20 staff. In just six years, the business grew to include over 500 brands and hundreds of staff with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta.

Vivy attributes the business’ success to her thousands of followers on her personal blog and social media accounts. “They were my only customers when we first started,” she said. This gave them an edge against their competition once big competitors moved into Malaysia. However, no startup is perfect – Fashion Valet tried to beat their competition at their own game and made the crucial mistake of lowering their standards of what they sold. This affected their brand identity, but Vivy and her husband went back to their roots and rebounded from the mistake. Their focus is on a direct and affordable connection to local designers and personal connections with their customers. Recently, they’ve opened up a retail location, specializing in offering fashionable hijabs. Fashion Valet has had some major investments from Malaysian internet company MY EG and Silicon Valley’s Elixir Capital, enabling Vivy to search for more collaborations with designers and celebrities to continue to grow their business.

Want to learn more about Vivy’s journey as an entrepreneur? Check out her personal blog where it all began.

Aaron Gotwalt

– Penn State University’s Alumni Achievement Awards Dinner, 2015

 

Aaron Gotwalt is an Entrepreneur in San Francisco, California who grew up in Lititz, PA. He is the Co-Founder, CTO, and occasional software engineer at Projector. He Previously founded CoTweet (acquired in 2011 by ExactTarget), and graduated from Schreyer Honors College in 2004.

 

Schreyer’s news

http://news.psu.edu/story/370942/2015/09/22/academics/gotwalt%E2%80%99s-transformational-experiences-helped-launch-startup

AngelList

https://angel.co/gotwalt

His Blog

https://blog.projector.com/@gotwalt

 

Mashable

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Mashable is a top 10 multi million dollar blog that reaches audiences of all sorts; from the tech world to sports, to news stories with hot and relevant information on the top new products and info in the market. In 2005 it’s founder Pete Cashmore started this revolutionary data generator at the tender age of 19. His clever blog design, quick tips, tech advice, and social cultural aspects have attracted over 29 million followers on the many social media platforms he posts on. Cashmore grew his business from the ground up by adding sites for consumer contact and departments in the company itself to expand the empire. On the site itself found here, http://mashable.com/, you will find a variety of posts on a variety of topics for a variety of viewers. Its humorous takes on noteworthy company failures, quick views on sports games and reviews of new tech products and software are what make the blog so successful. By 2012 Cashmore was ranked in Time Magazines Top 100 Most Influential People for his great work in the social media world. Along with Mashable’s commitment to excellence and accuracy in their posts, Cashmore has also committed it to give back to the community by finding job opportunities in the career realms of “technology and social media, marketing and business, and design and development.” It also promises to attribute to a concept of “Social Good” to “make the world a better place.” In all these senses of this company I believe Mashable and its founder are both the stuff of the future we need to continue to push us into the future.

Scholly: Opportunity for All

How much would you sacrifice to have a college education? If you’re a college student, you have probably been there. Considering how you’re going to pay for college and what means to do so. Scholarships? Loans? Parents?

When Christopher Gray was a junior in high school, he realized his family would not have the means to send him to college, but he believed a college education was a necessity. He started to apply for scholarships. After a tedious 7 months, he accumulated over $1.3 million dollars in scholarships (including some entrepreneurial scholarships…hint hint). Gray described the process as a lot of unnecessary work, but now he was essentially an expert at the scholarship system. He knew something had to change. Something to make college students’ lives just a little easier. In 2015, Gray launched an app/website that creates an easier process to connect aspiring college students to scholarships.

Accompanied by his co-founders Nick Pirollo (26) and Bryson Alef (24), Christopher Gray (24) created Scholly.

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Scholly has generated over 600,000 users (which continues to grow) and is estimated to have facilitated $50 million in scholarships. Gray was also featured on Shark Tank which helped his idea get big.

I personally think the mission of Scholly is amazing, and though I haven’t used the app…I believe the testimony and experience of Christopher Gray is enough to support his idea. Gray’s college education paid off (quite literally)! He saw a problem: that being an outdated system in a technologically advanced world. It is encouraging to see how Gray took a personal struggle and turned it into a success, and I’m sure the college student community is very grateful for his work. Since Scholly was just so recently introduced, I am  certain the success will continue to grow.

Entrepreneur of the Year

For anyone who might be interested in scholarship opportunities, here’s a link to get you hooked up with a Scholly account.

RegisterForSchollyHere

 

IdeaPaint

IdeaPaintLogo_4cIdeaPaint is a dry erase paint company that was founded in 2002 by John Goscha as a freshman at Babson College in Massachusetts. According Goscha and its other founders Andrew Foley and William Gioielli, IdeaPaint’s purpose is to inspire and encourage everyone in their creative potential through their primary product which can transform almost any smooth surface into an erasable canvas, giving people the space they need to fully explore their ideas.

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Back in their dorms at Babson College, these entrepreneurs would hang large sheets of paper on their walls to have a better space to think through their ideas. However, they would constantly have to tear it down and put more up every time they ran out of room and they thought, Surely there must be a better way. The team searched for this product but, to their surprise, they found nothing. So they set off on a six year journey to make this product commercially viable. Now they are widely successful and have been recognized by Mashable and Forbes. Goscha says “I look forward to the company bringing great products to market that inspire creativity and innovation in all of our customers for many years to come.”

Colatris: Mobile to Global

A problem faced by many has just been taken head on by three young entrepreneurs in San Francisco, California. The app started out as an experience one of the co founders experienced during his visit to Chile and saw an immense need for improvement with the poor quality apps being offered and brought to market. This app helps localize mobile apps to translate with people throughout the world. These three tech entrepreneurs recognized that their was a problem and set out to capitalize on it. Common knowledge is that it is hard enough to develop a successful strategy and layout of content in your own country and native language and be successful. The thought of tackling a foreign language and country head on with a total different culture is intimidating and very difficult. A lot of expenses can incur while you try to make a splash in a whole new area. This app they created works to solve this problem and to provide a perfect fitting and existing user interface.

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Colatris is ranked one of best current young entrepreneurs businesses in America is setting its aim on dominating the mobile industry. They set their company apart by selling their app as a way to effectively reach an international audience with very little effort and cost. The app allows you to very easily and quickly edit an app to your liking. This easy feature can help catapult your business to a great start in a foreign market with no stupid mistakes; starting your company out with a bad rep. This app personally allowing you to customize your app to your own preferences, setting you up for success! Colatris hopes their once idea, now brought to life, will one day be the standard for localization of digital content everywhere on the globe.

For more great info and a quick video on this great new company: check out the following link!