Model Entrepreneurs

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Ken Beauvais of ArCEOns


 

SE: What is ArCEOns?

KB: ArCEOns' focus is to be in the very center of what you buy, sell and advertise. We are reinventing the
social ecommerce space. Also, more importantly, we are mobility and mix reality on steroids. The major
differences with our platform is the way we mine data and allow our customers (consumers, businesses
and marketers) to use it as they buy, sell, and advertise, in real-time. We refer to this data as purchase
cycle data. Our goal is to be the center point that converts this data into information while customers
conduct commerce via our platform. Our vision is to be the tool and source of commerce in brick and
mortar and online stores worldwide.

SE: What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? How do you overcome it?

KB: The concept of being in “stealth mode” is my biggest challenge. As an entrepreneur I hear valid pros
and cons to this concept daily (mostly cons). Sometimes I think people focus on those cons just so
they can learn more information about my product or service. And sometimes I think my respected
advisors maybe intimidated and don’t want me to reveal my competitive edge. On the other hand,
what do others think? Maybe, they think I will be the next Steve Jobs whose products stayed in stealth
mode until the very end. Maybe?

It’s a challenge as the entrepreneur to find a balance of both the information and perception I give and receive.

I have learned that the actual issue was trying to find that perfect balance in the first place. There is
no need to turn myself and my business partners into robots that memorized scripts. On my journey
of overcoming this challenge, I created some rules and allowed everything to start balancing out on its
own.

Example: Currently, we will not proactively broadcast our product or service to the masses; however we
will openly talk to anybody about it in person or over the phone.

SE: Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs? What have you learned from them?

KB: Bill Gates – To become the platform and ecosystem

Mark Cuban – I only have to be right once

Will Smith – I am who I choose to be

Curtis Jackson – Get “rich” or die trying

Marc Coulange of MapSeri


 
SE: What is MapSeri?  How did you get the idea?
MC: MapSeri is a geolocation based social marketplace that helps you buy and sell items or search and provide services to people in your neighborhood. 
 
I got the idea in school, I was sick of being ripped off by the bookstores buybacks. They would sell a book to you brand new for $150, buy it back for $35 and put it back on shelves as "Used" for $120. I was thinking that if I sold it to an another student for $80, both students would benefit on the deal.  Unfortunately I had just came from France and I hadn't made that many friends yet. So I decided to create groups online for student like me to buy and sell books. That's where it started. When I saw I had a market for it I decide to bring the groups onto a website and the idea kind of grew from there.

SE: Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs?  What is it about them that you admire?
MC: Okay, This might sound corny but my father is definitely my all time favorite entrepreneur. My father came to France with no money.  He started working in Interior Design, learned the business and then open his own company. He grew the business from Interior Design to construction to Real Estate. My father is the only person  I've ever worked for. I started as painter then worked my way up to owning a share of the company. We sold the business and my share went towards my Med-school studies. I just admire his dedication. We often think that where we come from limits our choices, but our choices are only as limited as our minds are. That's basically what I've learned from him.
 
I also love to see young entrepreneurs grow like Brian Wong who's only 19 years old and already raised $11 million for Kiip.me. Blake Ross who created Mozilla Firefox. These entrepreneurs show me that age doesn't matter as long you have an idea and you're able to follow it through you can be very successful at a very young age.


SE: How do you manage being a student and an entrepreneur at the same time? 
MC: It all comes down to two things: Discipline and Time management. Being a project manager in my fathers interior design company thought me a lot about these two things. I wanted to be Cardiovascular Surgeon for as long as I can remember but working for my father also revealed my passion for entrepreneurship. The thrill of starting a new venture or extending someones life are the two greatest feeling in the world to me. It takes a lot of sleepless night I have to admit and I know eventually I will have to give up one of them but as long as I can do both I will keep doing it.

Felecia Hatcher of Feverish Ice Cream

 

Felecia Hatcher of Feverish Ice Cream

Feverish on Twitter

Miami, FL

SE: Why Popsicles?  How are yours different?

FH: I'm a dessert fanatic! I even got married at a donut shop in Portland called VooDoo Donuts. If you would have told me at 18 that I would be running a popsicle company I would have laughed at you and told you that I am going to be a top music video producer like Hype Williams. Feverish is a huge creative release for me. I love having the freedom to create new flavors and make people smile everyday. Our pops are vegan. That's one major way we are different but also our whole entire approach to creating a new and exciting ice cream experience for adults. Oh, and we also make spiked popsicles too!
 
SE: What were you doing before Feverish and what lessons have you learned from your prior career that are in use with your current business?

FH: I was working in experiential marketing right before Feverish. I worked on marketing campaigns for Sony, Nintendo and the WNBA. I took everything I learned from them and implemented it into Feverish. Working for Nintendo was a big inspiration for the design and the focus on the experience. I was on the team that launched the WiiFit and Wii Sports resort. It was all about bringing the video game to life so that you can literally reach out and touch the game, but more importantly have an emotional connection with the brand. I wanted people to have the same fun experience with us and be able to do way more then just sell a food product. 


SE: What has been the biggest surprise to you since starting Feverish?

FH: Definitely how far we've come and the lives we've been able to impact with popsicles. I recently picked up a note book that I had in storage that had all my sketches and ideas 6 years ago when it was just a crazy idea and could not believe what we've been able to do. We donate a portion of each popsicle to projects we are passionate about one thing that is big for us is tackling youth unemployment we do that through speaking at school, our program PopPreneurs but we recently just sponsored 12 girls to go to an event called Black Girls Code in Atlanta and it introduces young girls to programming and coding and I almost started crying to see a 6 year old girl on a Mac building her own website; being introduced to a whole new world and maybe a whole new outlook on where her life can go. Being able to change lives makes it all worth it.  


SE: What's been your favorite flavor and what flavor has melted by the wayside? 

FH: Oh wow we've produced over 40 flavors my favorite changes often but right now the Kiwi Limeaide Pop and  the Peanut Butter and Jelly are my favorites right now. There are a few that were epic fails, Wasabi Chocolate, Cucumber Carrot Ginger, and Coconut Avocado were just bad ideas. 

 
SE: What is the future of Feverish and how are you training the next generation of entrepreneurs?

FH: I travel around the country a lot and speak to high schools and colleges. A lot of kids have amazing ideas and big dreams they just need someone to care and then show them that failure won't break them. We have a program that we started last year called PopPreneurs that teaches kids how to start and run their own business but with a profits first model where kids make money while learning how to start run and operate their own business. My thing is that far too many kids are introduced to entrepreneurship two ways; either spending weeks or months working on a business plan and never seeing their idea materialize because they are not the contest winner or they learn about entrepreneurship by watching drug dealers. The point is, if a kid wants to sell drugs or commit a crime to make money they don't sit in a classroom and work on a business plan for months, heck when you look at it they get a mentor and are shown the ropes while making money right away. The only way to get more kids involved in entrepreneurship and away from crime is to show them that they can start small and build their business and make money while doing it.

KELiCHiA Wellons of Body Honey Waxing Villa

 

www.BodyHoneyWaxingVilla.com


SE: Wax on, wax off?  Why waxing and what other services do you offer?

KW: Firstly, I am a Cosmetologist. I styled hair for a long number of years and decided that I no longer wanted to do such a thing. I chose the waxing field, because it is a trendy and ever-growing field.  


SE: Do you offer anything unique on the menu?

KW: The unique item, that my company offers, is the Vajazzling service. It's very trendy and popular in the beach and celebrity worlds. 


SE: You recently re-opened your location.  What was the motivation to do so and what advice can you share with other entrepreneurs who might be consider doing the same thing?

KW: I decided to re-open due to the growing field of hair removal. I enjoy helping to boost my customers' esteem levels. My motivation stems from wanting to be a positive example to my sons. I want them to see me working hard and find motivation to achieve whatever dreams they want to accomplish in life. My motivation also stems from helping to motivate others to step out and achieve their desires. My advice to others is always to never allow negative energy to take any space in your Being. Remain positive at all costs, and remain focused on your goals. 


SE: What is it that keeps your customers coming back?

KW: My customers enjoy coming back for my services because of the education that I bestow upon them. I educate my customers on the services that they receive so that they will be able to know the difference between a true professional and a "smoke blower," in this field. I am a strong believer in educating people of all walks of life. In order for one's business and services to grow, one must be willing to pass down viable information that is for the benefit of his or her consumer market. 

SE: How do you continue to improve and educate yourself as an business owner?

KW: I continue my improvement journey by opening up to learning a variety of techniques that will allow the best comfort levels possible for my clients. I, constantly, educate myself by reading as much material as I possibly can about business ownership and entrepreneurship. I participate in educational events to sharpen my financial and professional strengths.


SE: Beside your own what is your other favorite local business and why?

KW: I really don't have a favorite local business. Quite frankly, I have favored them all. I admire anyone who tries to make his or her name known in the business world. I admire anyone who has the strength and courage to step out and do what others think is impossible; they open a business. 

Parker Stewart of Night and Day Vending

 

Stewart Parker of Night and Day Vending

www.nightanddayvending.com


SE: Where are you from?  Where do you go to school?  What are you studying?

PS: I am originally from McComb, MS but I have lived all over Mississippi and Tennessee. I am currently a senior at Mississippi State University pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Leadership.
 
SE: Why IntoxBoxes?

PS: I chose to distribute the IntoxBox interactive breathalyzer vending machine because it is truly head of its class. It is the most interactive and engaging breathalyzer vending machine on the market, boasting a 19" HD touch-screen monitor. One of my favorite features is the Cab Call ability that not only makes it incredibly easy for patrons to get a taxi ride home, but also suggests that they do so after taking the breathalyzer test, even if they are under the legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC). We calibrate our machines against police-grade breathalyzers to ensure an accurate reading every time. I also have the ability to remotely monitor all of my IntoxBoxes from anywhere to make certain that they are all always running at 100%. The manufacturer behind the machine is also one of the most innovative companies I have ever known. While they have created the best breathalyzer vending machine on the market, they are not content to stop there. They actively search for ways to improve the design and quality of the machine so that the IntoxBox is always three steps ahead of the competition.

SE: What is the most important lesson you have learned in business that you would not have been able to pick up from a classroom or text book?

PS: While learning in class can be great, for some things it truly takes hands-on experience to get a grasp of how to make difficult decisions. Entrepreneurs have to be bold enough to be decisive and smart enough to know a bad deal when they see one. I would say that the most important lesson I have learned in business that isn't taught in the classroom is to go with my gut instinct. Even if a deal sounds incredible on paper, if it feels wrong or off then it probably is.

SE: Your IntoxBoxes are much more than blood-alcohol monitors...what else can they do?

PS: The IntoxBox is a fun and interactive way for patrons to educate themselves about alcohol's effect on the body. There are so many factors that play into one's level of intoxication, and everyone is different. Height, weight, gender, tolerance, and even how much one has eaten that day are some of the determinants. The reason that so many people get DUI's is that they dramatically underestimate how intoxicated they are. The IntoxBox makes it convenient and affordable for patrons to make a better decision.

SE: How fast can these IntoxBoxes pay for themselves?

PS: The IntoxBoxes pay for themselves within 1-2 years. There are two revenue streams. The first and more obvious is someone actually walking up, placing money into the machine, and then going through a breathalyzer test. The second revenue stream, however, is much more profitable. We provide businesses with an exciting new advertising medium that interacts with their target market.
 
SE: What's your favorite local business and why?

PS: If we include non-profit companies, then the Entrepreneurship Center at Mississippi State University is by far my favorite local business. They have helped me refine my business plan and find my first clients. I earned my first check through their Thad Cochran Endowment for Entrepreneurship which was tremendously helpful in covering start-up costs. They even put me in touch with my accountant and attorney. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done and continue to do for me.