HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 8, 2014 – To some members of the HPU family, the entrepreneurial spirit is more than a saying; it’s a call to action. Through their start-up company CollegeMeans.com, HPU senior Brandon Travis and ’14 alumnus Andrew Brooks are tapping into a viable target market: college students re-selling items to other college students.
CollegeMeans is a safe and convenient exchange network for college students to buy, sell and trade personal items products at the convenience of their location. The company announced its official launch on Aug. 20.
“Whether students are trying to get money back for last semester’s textbooks, looking for some extra cash out of unused goods in their dorm room, or trying to save money while furnishing an apartment for the first time, CollegeMeans provides a way to do so through the safest and most efficient means possible,” says co-founder Brooks.
Although it has been referred to as a “Craigslist for college students,” not just anyone can create an account with the website; CollegeMeans is only available to those with an approved .edu email address for the safety of the students. Sellers can list their products and attach a photo of the item. Buyers can refine their search by filtering items by school location, category, condition, keyword, brand and color.
“We wanted to give students the opportunity to recycle and ultimately save money when it comes to fulfilling the college experience,” says Travis, a mathematical economics major.
The website serves HPU students along with universities around the country. Brooks and Travis have formed platforms for multiple schools in California, Indiana, Texas, Virginia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee. In doing so, the entrepreneurs have created a one-stop-shop for students wishing to sell and buy discounted furniture, apparel, textbooks, electronics and more items needed for a comfortable college lifestyle.
Brooks says that if it had not been for his experiences and networking contacts he formed during his four years at HPU, his company would likely not exist; Brooks had initially connected with the company’s now-web-developer, CEO of BEC Digital Bryan Young, during an entrepreneur round table event hosted by Dr. Nido Qubein in the spring of 2013.
“The round table event was a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen and learn from five very successful entrepreneurs telling their story and giving advice to the future businessmen and women of the world,” recalls Brooks. “In addition to connecting with Young, I took what I learned from this event and applied the start-up knowledge to my company CollegeMeans.”
“High Point University has helped us from the beginning at every turn,” adds Travis. “The Center for Entrepreneurship provided us with great insight and pushed us when we needed it most. As a whole, we could not have done it without HPU and the family of support it continuously provides.”
What’s their plan for the future? To grow. And keep growing.
Travis, now in his senior year at HPU, will be juggling classes, running CollegeMeans and studying for the CFA level 1 exam due to take place in December. Brooks now has a separate full-time job in Florida with Oldcastle Materials.
However, the co-founders find it beneficial to be in separate locales because they will be able to reach more students at a faster rate.
“We are excited for the challenge and ready for the long nights and days ahead of us that will be necessary to reach every college student across the globe,” says Travis.