Archive for Uncategorized

Adams Apple Juice Bar & Café

Josh Adams is the founder of Adams Apple Juice Bar & Café. At 19 years old, he also owns and runs the business in Mansfield, PA. In this community, he recognized a growing need over time of somewhere for people to go, hang out, and socialize. In addition to this, there was also a good portion of the community with dietary restrictions. Looking to fulfill this need, Adams Apple Juice Bar & Café came to town.

When looking for ideas, Josh went to the college in that town to see what would be most useful for the students there. Offering various smoothies, juices, and waffles, the juice bar and café is completely gluten and dairy free, offering a healthy, all natural option to whoever wants to come and hang out. There are games to play and records to listen to, giving a great atmosphere for just spending time with friends. The juice bar shares the building with a contact sports club, making it a healthy and convenient option for those who come for a workout.

It’s all summed up in the mission statement:

“To provide ethical, healthy, and delicious food and drink options for the local community that address the majority of restrictive diets and to offer a welcoming atmosphere for all.”

The Town Kitchen

The Town Kitchen was an idea born out of the brain of Sabrina Mutukisna. It is a community focused business in Oakland, California. Having grown up in a low – income, immigrant family, she had a unique perspective on what it was like to be a working youth in California. So, she decided to unite three of her passions – youth appointment, entrepreneurship, and food. Low income youth in the Oakland area are hired to work in a kitchen with professional chefs to make boxed lunches for businesses in the area. This idea is so fascinating to me because she took something so simple, the need for working people to have lunch, and the need for low-income youth to be employed, and put them together to offer a solution that is not only practical, but one that also makes an impact socially.

The youth that work at The Town Kitchen not only have to opportunity to work with professional chefs and learn about the food industry, they are also trained in entrepreneurial thinking and social justice. This business is having a direct impact on the youth of the community, increasing their likelihood of graduating from high school and college, and decreasing their likelihood of being incarcerated. The Town Kitchen is also having a direct impact on its local community. By using food that is locally grown and employing local youth, and by giving $1 for every $10 earned back into the community, this business is supporting its local economy.

I think the reason I am so inspired by this idea is because it is so simple. It is literally making lunches. However, it is done so well. There was a need and a gap that were seen in a different light than anyone else had seen them, and an incredible business was created. The commitment to serving others and caring for young people is also something I am passionate about. The Town Kitchen is not just interested in solving a problem that presents itself right now, it is a business that is seeking to create a sustainable solution.

Stripe – The Future of Payment

Stripe is a startup by two brothers, Patrick and John Collison,  who noticed a significant pain in the world of business. This pain is that small startups don’t have an easy way of making payments when they begin, and Stripe chose to fix this. Using just seven lines of code, the Collison brothers managed to create a payment system that was an perfect for businesses like Uber, Airbnb, and even Amazon, who now uses Stripe for all of their transactions. Because of this, both Patrik and John are one of the youngest billionaires on the planet.

The Collison brothers entrepreneurial success lies in the need they saw for small businesses, where an easy payment form is absolutely necessary since you have a limited amount of resources in a startup. The main reason this need even existed is because PayPal was the previous way to handle transactions, and PayPal had not evolved to fit the current market since its creation. In this sense, not only did Stripe succeed, but PayPal needed to fail to make way for Stripe. This is exemplified in the decision of PayPal’s co-founders wanting to be part of Stripe. Sometimes a lack of attention by a business can lead to new opportunities for a young entrepreneur.

A New Way to Send Pictures

Evan Spiegel is a co-founder of the company Snapchat. This millennial innovated a new way to easily send pictures, messages, and videos to friends without having to send them through text, email, or any other form of social media. Snapchat allows users to send their friends pictures that disappear 10 seconds or less after they are opened. People using this app can also put pictures and videos on their “story”. Anyone that follows the person that posted the “story” is able to view it. Another thing that Spiegel created in his app is “filters”. Filters can be added to a picture or video. An example of a filter is the current time, a person’s location, or the speed a person is traveling. Filters can also transform a person’s face into something funny like giving a person dog ears. Evan Spiegel is unique because he thought outside the box and created a new form of social media. Spiegel’s innovation is another very successful form of social media that is used daily by millions.

Mathews Halon 32

As an avid outdoors man I love to archery hunt.  I’ve used a couple different kinds of compound bows. My very first bow was a Parker Sidekick, I used a Horton Crossbow for a few years, before getting my second bow, a Hoyt Ultratech.Image result for mathews halon 32

But Mathews brand bows are changing the game.  They have created the Halon 32.  The Halon 32 is one of the best bows in the market.  Its slim design allows it to be super light, and easy to carry.  It has enhanced the angle of the strings and has stability that is superior to all other bows, while shooting at up to 350 fps.  This bow is super quiet and very consistent, I have been able to see this up close as I have a shot one a few times.

I’m very excited to possibly purchase this bow and use it in the near future!

Death Wish Coffee

Known as “The World’s Strongest Coffee”, this coffee company that started in 2012 has quickly become a well known name. How could they not with a tagline like that? Founder Michael Brown wanted to create a coffee that would wake up all of us non-morning people! So he came up with the idea for an extra strong regular coffee that you can brew at home and take with you. Largely based on online sales, their mission statement even commits to being a coffee that will “fuel you wherever you go”. They also have been trying to reach all the organic and health crowd coffee aficionado’s out there by being fair trade, high-quality, organic, and “best tasting”.

After being around for three years, they entered and won the Small Business, Big Game competition which rewarded them a thirty second Super Bowl commercial which skyrocketed their sales. They then became the official coffee sponsor for the New York City ComicCon and NASCAR driver Ty Dillon. Along with supporting many charities, they have also created a merchandise line with mugs and clothing that has also helped get their name into the world. They now sell coffee brewing equipment, gift baskets, “K-cups”, aged coffee beans and wholesale coffee along with all their other merchandise.

Their blog and podcast are updated at least once a week with stories from customers, coffee facts, and more. They run contests to give away free coffee and announce winners weekly.

This company has quickly become a household name, especially with millennials who have a need for a caffeine fix.  They have reached out to many niche areas like skateboarding communities, independent coffee shops, bands, and many other groups.

With the guarantee of being “the strongest coffee you will ever drink or your money back” this brand has taken over the coffee industry online and in your local grocery store coffee aisle.

Clef: Passwords of the Future

Clef is an entrepreneurial business which is putting a new twist on cybersecurity and authentication.  24-year-old Brennen Byrne is the Co-Founder and Ceo of Clef. What his business does is provide a service which ensures a safer password system by creating a randomly generated wave/image which has to be scanned and approved of by an independent system in addition to standard login procedures.  In function, Clef adds a step into the login process by requiring the user to use an app too scan and approve a randomly generated wave.  This process is called Two-Factor Authentication.  By forcing the user to personally be in front of the device, this process ensures that the person logging in is legitimate.  This new twist on cybersecurity could better the many companies systems and revolutionize the way authentication is done.




Clef Offers Two-Factor Authentication Without All The Codes

Kaylena Marie’s Bakery: A Vision of an Entrepreneur

Back at home in Orchard Park, a girl who graduated one year before me in high school opened up her own artisan bakery in town! Kaylena Marie Eisenhower is a twenty-year-old entrepreneur who started selling her baked goods online at a very young age. Throughout high school, Kaylena continued to cater and sell various baked goods, even if that meant waking up very early in the morning to send out shipments before school started at 7. After graduating high school, Kaylena spent 2 years studying Culinary Arts to further her education. During this last year, Kaylena transformed a small rental space into a gorgeous artisan cafe, where anyone can order pastries, sandwiches, coffee, and a whole lot more. The store spaced has been transformed into a beautiful, comfortable atmosphere. Before coming back to GCC, I stopped by the bakery for the first time. The bakery opened at 8am, and there was a line outside of her shop waiting for the freshly baked goods. With the help of her family and friends, Kaylena has offered Orchard Park a wonderful space for community, creativity, and bliss.

The First Million: Ashley Qualls

In 2004, at age 14, Detroit native Qualls launched, conceived as a personal portfolio with pictures and graphics she created. Later, she offered free MySpace layouts and tutorials for teens who wanted to learn how to do their own graphic designs and coding.

A quote from Qualls on her Web site says the site’s name means “for whatever life you lead.” She goes on to write that her goal is to include “information and fun things for anyone and everyone,” and she seems to be making big strides in that direction. (Qualls did not return multiple calls seeking comment.)

In Pictures: How To Make A Million Before You Turn 20, which Qualls owns outright, claims to nab 7 million individual visitors a month and counts Verizon Communications as an advertiser. In March 2006, Qualls reportedly received an offer (from an undisclosed buyer) for $1.5 million, but turned it down.

Now 17, Qualls is an emancipated minor. While considered an adult in the eyes of the law, she knows she has a long way to go, evidenced by an entry on her page: “I have lived a lot in the past three years and have only a few things to say about it. There is always so much to learn.”

yelp consumer reviews empire

In 2014, Yelp even managed to become profitable, an achievement that had previously eluded it. It’s a big milestone for a ten-year-old company; While Yelp’s $36.5 million profit last year is approximately what Google spends reupholstering its beanbag chairs, it was a big deal for a company that had spent its entire life wandering in a desert of red ink. “We’ve had to endure nearly 10 years of the bears saying, ‘Oh, a money-losing Internet company–what a surprise,’” says Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s CEO and founder.

In fact, he says, Yelp could easily have crossed into the black years earlier, although it would have required pumping the breaks on hiring and other areas of investment crucial to sustaining momentum. “We always knew it was up to us to choose the time and place,” he says. “The nice thing about the last couple quarters was we didn’t actually slow our growth.”

Things have generally been going Yelp’s way lately. In September, a storm cloud that had been looming over the company for four years suddenly dispersed when a federal appeals court ruled against the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit accusing Yelp of giving better reviews to businesses that bought advertising. He faces a challenge when it comes to setting strategy now that Yelp is a publicly-traded company. In its early days as a startup, Stoppelman was able to make gutsy calls with a minimum of deliberation. Two that proved particularly crucial to long-term success were deciding to invest a large share of Yelp’s then-modest resources in developing an app for the iPhone when it first arrived in 2007; and electing not to devote significant time and money to Facebook’s first developer platform, which came out around the same time but quickly withered from a lack of support.

On the rare occasions that he has to make a snap decision, he says he’s glad to be able to draw on the credibility that comes from being a founder-CEO. “It’s helpful to be able to say: This company is my identity. I know how and why it was built in the first place and I know where to take it in the future,” he says.

That sort of maneuverability may come in handy as more and more competitors take the model Yelp pioneered of user-generated business reviews and iterate on it. After all, that old saying about opinions cuts both ways: Yes, Yelp has them by the millions, but it’s hardly alone.

Stoppelman is dismissive of efforts by the biggest of the Internet giants to muscle in on his turf. “The reality is it’s very hard for somebody in a particular core business to go completely outside that business,” he says. “If I had a dollar for every time someone said, ‘The new product from Google is going to kill Yelp,’ ‘the new product from Facebook is going to kill Yelp’ – I would be a very happy man if I was getting paid for those headlines.

And Fitzgerald notes that the number of reviews submitted by Yelp’s users, an important measure of engagement, has steadily grown by about 20 percent annually. “They’re continuing to scale the model,” he says.It’s clearly the case, however, that advertisers are willing to pay more to companies that can offer them not just consumers’ awareness but also their actions. Yelp’s $134 million purchase of the food-delivery service Eat24 in February was a big step in that direction; more quietly, it has been building out its transactional platform, which 60,000 local businesses now use.The future holds a lot more of that, Stoppelman says: “Whatever it is the consumer might want to transact with, we want that to be able to plug into Yelp.