Carlos Cortes and Cooper Lopez are graduates from the Lavin Center for Entrepreneurship at San Diego State University. In the "Idea Lab," taught by Adjunct Professor Kevin Popovic, (https://idealab.sdsu.edu/kevin-popovic/) they formulated an idea for a business and decided to "go for it." In essence, the fellas created a very soft, washable blanket in different sizes and colors that come with sewn in "feet pockets" to keep your feet warm. I am including some info on their Adjunct and the progress of their business below. A picture of me with the two young entrepreneurs up top of this blog.
My communication with Professor Kevin over holiday break is below:
Happy New Year to you, Kevin. I am helping your first two students, Carlos and Cooper. Received a pre-approval for one for $70k-$80k and after cleaning up a couple of credit bumps and paying down card balances, will get close to the same for the second. I have my Vietnamese partners quoting the first run of 3000 pieces that will come in under $10 apiece. They met with my bus plan/marketing plan guy who will also be running the numbers with them. We are going to Modern to see about all collateral material, websites, marketing campaigns next. I have a very smart Project Manager who will be taking them through all the steps, a Social Media maven to orchestrate that effort and a journalist to write about it all and garner 3rd party press for them and the project. When I finish the soup to nuts program for them, I can replicate for all worthy candidates, my friend.
One of my earliest communications with the boys after we met...
Sun, Dec 16, 2018, 3:50 PM
to Kevin, Robert, Alastair, Midas, Steve, Magregory, Carlos, Cooper
Loved meeting you both and you two are exactly the type of "go-getters" I want to mentor and launch to the stratosphere of entrepreneurship!
The fact that you followed our friend (professor/mentor) Kevin's advice to connect with me, showed up on one of your two days off from your "day jobs" to meet me and my friends and produced what I asked for right away..are all good signs that my gut instinct was right about you.
Like I said, I bet on the jockey, not the horse.
That being said, my partners and I are going to take your info, study it, ask questions and bring you to meet all of us shortly.
In the meantime, since we know you are going to need capital and I promised to provide it, subject to the rules I establish with you, by way of this email, I am introducing you to my financing partner/guru, Wes of Midas-Financial (www.midas-financial.com) and ask that you speak together and provide Wes with whatever he needs to pre-qualify you for as much as you can receive to both repay your small debts ($20k each) and provide enough capital to launch your enterprise on another much higher level with my help.
I will be speaking to you personally with my thoughts on how we may best fast track you both.
P.S. My experience of bringing students to market is on my Dean's letter from Barrett Honors College (ASU) 12-13 years ago, which is attached. They had zip for entrepreneurship at ASU until I came there and SDSU is massively better equipped to reap the benefit of my resources. Help me to help them!
Barrett Honors College Dean Letter
Peter J. Burns, III
Below is one of my partner's observations and notes from his first session with the young men an their Project:
Bomfy B Consultation 12-30-18
Carlos, Cooper, Rob Tepper
Notes and Action Items
Carlos works for a Latino focused agency that has Fortune 500 clients as well as smaller ones.
Cooper - also at an agency, Account Executive (sales) doing Instagram and Facebook marketing for small to medium-sized businesses
They both went to Valhalla HS in El Cajon, knew each other but not really friends, became friends at SDSU as they are both studying Management & Entrepreneurship.
They seek a way to get their product positioned and set to sell in the 2019 holiday season to cover their entire salaries, costs, overhead for the year, so they can do this full time
Ideas for Niches:
Universities - market to university bookstore buyers
Sororities - market to a few local sororities but scale through national
For both of the markets above,having campus reps / advocates to promote can help with adoption
Star Wars or any other TV or Movie related theme
All of the above would require licensing deals.
Licensing deals are the best way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
For all niches, ads should feature the consumer(s) sitting in front of the TV or at their computer using the blanket, in a way that we can see the feet in the pocket (somehow!).
Before and after / with blanket vs with other alternatives could be a fun & funny way to present the advantages of the Bombfy B’s foot pockets.
How to Proceed:
1. Start with creating an Executive Summary and Financials. Consider the items below in creating them; they will become living documents that you can refine as you learn and implement. Convince yourselves that you have a plan that is realistic and that you are confident you can execute.
2. Determine the $$ volume of sales that would need to be done in the winter 2019/2020 season in order for it to earn them enough to do this full time
3. Based on (2), determine which strategy or strategies to pursue that are most likely to lead to this level of success.
4. Put plan together to execute selected strategies.
5. Licensing deal(s) in place `by end of July.
6. Testing and refinement of manufacturing, packaging, ordering and fulfillment systems - April and July
7. Finalize quantity and number of SKUs of each to order by early August
"Round 2 of Ready, Fire, Aim"" of my Adventures in Capitalism (through propelling young student-entrepreneurs into their own business) started with my invitation to the Quarterly Dinner and next morning's Advisory Board Meeting of SDSU's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. The Lavin Center is generously supported by both the Lavin Family of Alberto Culver Fame and the Zahn Family of the Moxie Foundation. The picture below is from that dinner in early December.
Since that kind invitation, I have met with and interacted extensively with a number of individuals that I met that evening and the morning afterwards. In addition to replicating my "Ready Fire, Aim" Program from 14 years ago at ASU's Barrett Honors College by helping the BomfyB.com founders, I have already had my "Discovery Call" with a second graduate of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center's wonderful Program and am "templating" that process to help any and all student-entrepreneurs from the 200 students who may need capital and mentoring to take their student projects to market with the greatest chance of success.
Perhaps an even greater help that I may be for SDSU's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is my independent process of raising much needed donations to the school and the Program, engineered from my first stint at teaching entrepreneurship in 2005 and spelled out on a recently published article on the link below. Our "beta test" with the first potential benefactor is in-process as we speak and poses to generate millions of dollars on behalf of this worthy cause.
In short, I'm back with "Ready, Fire, Aim" Round 2.
Follow the "adventures in Capitalism" of Peter J. Burns III at www.peterjburns3.com.