Archive for college – Page 2

Scholarships Made Easy

As a college student, I know how expensive college is. I also know how hard it is to find scholarships that fit my needs. Christopher Gray saw this problem too as he grew up in a single parent household and had little to no means to go to college.

When Chris was in high school, he sifted through thousands of scholarships, and with a lot of hard work, he won $1.3 million in scholarships. As his own journey was very hard, Chris wanted to make it easier for other students. So Chris founded Scholly. Scholly is an app that helps high school seniors, current undergraduate students, or graduate students find scholarship money. It uses a patented scholarship-matching platform that gives you a targeted list that actually meets your needs and qualifications.

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Scholly believes that everyone should be able to afford access to a quality education, regardless of who they are, where they’re from, or what they have. It is only $2.99, so it is cheap and accessible.

After Scholly was featured on Shark Tank, it became the #1 overall app in both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store for over 3 weeks. In addition, the app has won numerous awards and Chris Gray has also won awards for his company.

Through all this success, Scholly is still dedicated to connecting students to over $50 million in scholarships so they can go to the colleges of their dreams. The company continually tries to improve and strengthen their company so they can go on to help more students reach their full potential.

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

 

Better Than a Lemonade Stand

When I was about 15 years old, the town of Falmouth in Cape Cod decided to replace an old train track with a biking trail that extended several miles to Woods Hole, a popular tourist hot spot. That summer I ventured from my family’s summer home to see what the new bike trail had to offer in places I had never seen due to overgrown weeds – and that was how I met Patrick. Patrick was only 14, yet already had a summer business that was raking in hundreds annually to go toward his future college tuition.

Patrick’s parents had made it clear at a young age that if he wanted to go to college, he was going to have to start saving early because they couldn’t afford the debt. His home was on an average Falmouth road – quiet and lazy, yet also bustling in the summer with people biking or walking to the beach. At the age of 12, he borrowed $1,000 to purchase a high quality shaved ice making machine and flavoring, and set up a table at the side of the road to sell shaved ice to the passerbys. It didn’t take long for the revenue to start flowing like water, and he gained regular customers who would specifically travel down his road to purchase his shaved ice. When Falmouth ripped out the railroad in favor of the trail, his business exploded. By the time I met him, his table had become a semi-permanent booth that boasted the shaved ice machine, dozens of flavors, fresh squeezed lemonade, other refreshments like Gatorade and Sprite, and even had a shady section off to the side with benches and tables. The bike trail brought a boom of tourists and natives from other towns, and he had already saved several thousand dollars when I first met him.

One thing I truly admired was his commitment to his original goal of saving the money for his future tuition. He was already a levelheaded businessman at the young age of 14, and the vast majority of his revenue went straight into his savings instead of his pockets. It was brilliant for him to realize at age 12 that virtually no one sold shaved ice in our area and in the surrounding towns, and he was able to capitalize on that advantage very quickly before others caught on and did the same. While I haven’t seen Patrick in a few years, I am quite confident that his business is still there, improving, and thriving during the hot Cape Cod summers.

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

 

Clef: Brennen Byrne

While in going to college for English, Brennen Byrne took a computer science class just for fun, he didn’t realize how much that impacted his future. The first day of class his professor told him that he could create whole entire worlds, businesses, and products just by writing them down. This sparked Byrne’s interest. Later in college he and his freeing came up with an idea to use your phone as a way to identify you. This tuned into what is now called Clef.

Being as our world is so involved in technology, it must be guarded safely in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. The people at Clef are doing just that. Clef is a two-factor authentication that is safer and easier to use then other password or authentication tools. Clef is based in Oakland, California. They are a very small business with few workers; however they are making a lot of people’s lives easier.

Their system is a two-factor authentication which means unlike a regular password there are two steps to get to your information, making it more secure. You just use your phone to swipe in front of the computer screen. Clef also differentiates itself because of its use of Apple Touch ID. The usability of this eliminates the need for having a lot of different passwords crowding your mind. According to Clef’s research their tool will make customers 45% more likely to return.

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.”

Adam Horwitz: 18-Years-Old, $1.5 Million, 3 Days

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I love reading about any young entrepreneurs, but I’m especially captivated by extravagant success stories. 18-year-old Adam Horwitz has one of those. In just 3 days, his online course “Mobile Monopoly” made him $1.5 million.

In an interview with Income Diary, Adam explains that he first got interested in digital entrepreneurship when his father took him to a seminar about online marketing one day.  “That kind of opened the doors to me to see that there is potential out there for making money online,” he says.

Before “Mobile Monopoly”, Adam sold a few other online courses, such as his courses “Tycoon Cash Flow” and “Cell Phone Treasure.”  Each made him around $100,000.  “Mobile Monopoly” was his first million dollar program.

His success sounds unreal and unmatchable, but he lives by business principles that are actually pretty simple.  He says that his biggest tip to anyone in the online world is to take their business one step at a time.  “I think a lot of people’s struggle is they set up like eight different campaign [at once].”  Instead, he urges people to start with one and wait until it is successful before they spread their focus out to other projects. “If you just do a bunch of different products… you’re not going to make a sale for any of them.”

His other big tip is just as simple — make your content easy to consume.  People have short attention spans, especially when going through information-intensive courses like the ones Adam makes.  “The best way to do it is through video,” he says. “[People] don’t want to read a lot, they want to watch you talk.” I think this can be applied to anything.  I feel the same way about websites and social media posts — I’d rather see a video or an infographic than lines and lines of dull words.  If it looks like an essay, I’m probably going to click out.  People are busy and they want to hear what they need to hear quickly and easily.

The last point that stood out to me was how Adam views all of his success.  When asked if he likes being his own boss, he said that he doesn’t even think about it like that.  “I don’t think of this as work. This is fun, this is what I’m doing.”

Adam is in college like all of us in Entrepreneurial Mind. His friends have minimum wage jobs while he has made over a million dollars, simply because he had an idea and the drive to do something about it.  I think Adam showcases the possibility and opportunity of entrepreneurship, specifically digital entrepreneurship.  He’s a reminder to me that being successful is always possible, no matter what your age, other commitments, or circumstances.

College Hunks Hauling Junk

“Let Tomorrow’s Leaders Haul Your Junk Today”

The business idea is simple: capitalize on the extra energy and muscle of college students by hiring them to haul away things people don’t want – things that can be recycled, burned as fuel, or donated to charitable organizations. This three-fold aspect College Hunks Hauling Junk is one of the big reasons this business idea was selected by the Leigh Rothschild Business Plan Contest in 2004. Omar Soliman was the winner of $10,000 in this competition, and he used the money to get his business off the ground.

It was started even before Soliman and his partner Nick Friedman graduated from the University of Miami. But after graduation, they decided to take their idea and make it into something massive. Moving to D.C., they turned their small concept into a large-scale operation. But this wasn’t enough. In 2008, they moved again, this time to Tampa, FL to convert their company into a franchised firm. Since then, College Hunks Hauling Junk has made several “fastest growing companies” lists and in 2013 won the Franchise 500 Award.

The especially noteworthy trait of Omar Soliman and Nick Frieman is that these young men dreamed big. The idea they had designed was a good one, one that would have made a fantastic single firm in D.C. However, they realized that this business concept was one that could be even bigger than that. Today, they have 3 main locations and 47 franchises. That is success on a massive scale.

TopChedLax

TopChedLax was founded by two Grove City College students in 2013, who are members of the Club Lacrosse team at Grove City. Daniel Casselli and Will Stumpf came up with an idea in their dorm rooms for a lacrosse clothing company focused on “shredding high cheese.”

They focused on the community of “lax bros” who do nothing but play lacrosse. It is a content driven company, in so far as, they understand the difficulties that are inherent in the clothing industry. They have differentiated themselves by driving the need for their product by painting a certain picture in the customers mind of who would wear this clothing. The consumer then, presumably, wants to fit this image so they buy their clothing.

In their own words,”Inspired by the sun drenched, salt stained, American born lax lifestyle, Top Ched Lax is the eye-catching clothing that will set you apart in a crowd. Our clothing may be too bold for most to pull off, but that is exactly what makes it so special for those who can. Ask yourself, do you have what it takes to be daringly different?”

So like the guys say “Top Cheddar is always Beddar.” it will be fascinating to see what they do with this brand.

The Greatest Game To Play In The Summer

SPIKEBALL

According to iddictive.com, Spikeball is a volleyball-like game where two teams of two compete to keep the ball in the air before spiking it off a circular trampoline like net on the ground. Originally marketed as a beach game, it’s now taking off in backyards and parks across America.

In the 1990’s seven guys attempted to launch Spikeball to sell in stores like Toys R Us marketed towards kids. However, it didn’t go as planned and Spikeball was removed from shelves shortly after its launch.

Following this indecent, Chris Ruder, Co-Founder of Spikeball overheard feedback for nearly a decade of how people wished Spikeball would relaunch. Finally in 2009, Spikeball relaunched and Spikeball was a hit!

Today nearly 125,000 people play Spikeball and absolutely love the game!

I would definitely recommend Spikeball! It is a family fun game for all ages. The first time I played the game, I couldn’t stop because it was such blast. We played for 3 hours!

Chris Ruder took a big risk relaunching Spikeball after failing the first time around, but it goes to show sometimes when you take big risks, big rewards follow.