COBA is full of students with fantastic entrepreneurial ideas. However, many of these students don’t know how to develop these innovative concepts. One great way for students to engage in entrepreneurial training is by working with our new Entrepreneur in Residence, Chad Hutchins.
Chad, a 2008 graduate who studied computer science with a focus in business, has always had an affinity for entrepreneurship. Chad explains,
“Since grade school, there’s always been some project on the side I worked on that I considered my ‘business’ at the time, which varied from mowing yards to making websites. “
While here at ACU, Chad, along with three other students, created Sheepdog, a service that assisted companies in identifying the social networks that their customers were using. While Sheepdog wasn’t a big money maker, it provided Hutchins with valuable learning experience from the time he came up with the idea in 2008 until 2010 when he and his friends sold the intellectual property to another startup.
Since Sheepdog, Chad has been involved in two additional startups, the most recent of which is called SugarOutfitters.
“It’s an app store for SugarCRM, a popular CRM solution,” explains Chad. “We spent nine months building the company and website, which we launched in September. Since then, sales have been going up every month.”
After successfully starting three different companies, Chad has learned a few things, one of which is the importance of having a solid business plan.
“Building whatever it is you want to sell is the easy part,” he elaborates. “It’s the marketing and distribution that will make or break you. So having a laser-focused target market and a strong plan for reaching that market is extremely important.”
In his new role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Chad will be in his office in the eHub every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. During these times, he will be able to meet with students in order to help them achieve the same entrepreneurial success he has enjoyed.
Chad is excited about this opportunity, because he can easily identify with the students with whom he will be working.
“Having been in their exact shoes, the thing that excites me most is being able to help provide the things I wished were available to me as I tried to build my own businesses while at ACU,” says Chad. “The college experience is such a unique time in a person’s life, a time that you don’t get back. I believe trying to build a business during that time is the best time to do so.”
Be sure to check out Chad’s latest startup, SugarOutfitters, by clicking here, and don’t hesitate to email him at email@example.com.