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Gift BoxWaukee APEX student associates who are interested in pursuing a career as an entrepreneur have an opportunity to enroll in the Waukee APEX Business Startup course. To date, many young professionals with viable startup ideas have been through the Startup course with access to business mentors and feedback opportunities on their business canvas. This term, Waukee junior Jacob Norrell, is a part of the Business Startup team. He explains that he decided to enroll in this course because he has always been interested in starting his own business, and he wanted to know how big companies such as Microsoft and Apple got started. Jacob explains, “So far this year I have learned a lot, but the main thing that I’ve taken away from the course is learning first, how to identify a common problem, then, how to brainstorm solutions that would attract customers.”

When the term began for Jacob, his instructor, Russ Goerend, charged the student associates with identifying a common problem that people experience. This led Jacob to identify that most people experience stress around holidays when they need to decorate their homes, but they don’t have the time to shop for decorations or dig them out of storage. Jacob’s solution is a subscription-based company called Boxes of Cheer. The idea is that customers would visit their online subscription site, select how frequently their subscription would recur, the type of decor in their home, and the number of decorations that would be delivered each time. Customers would have the opportunity to preview what would come, potentially switching out items, or they could choose to skip the preview section and be surprised when their decorations arrive. After the holiday season ends, the decorations would be sent back to the company in a postage-paid box. This eliminates the need to store seasonal decorations, and it also allows for new items to be cycled into customers’ homes each year. It also takes the stress of finding decorations for each holiday season and places that responsibility into the hands of someone else.

Recently, Jacob partnered with his friend and fellow student associate, Casey Angstman. Jacob explains, “Our future plans involve finalizing a logo and building the Boxes of Cheer website. Once we have everything finalized and ready to go, we will pitch the idea to entrepreneurs and industry professionals on Monday, January 13th at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center.”

Everyone at APEX is very excited to see where this startup idea goes, and we look forward to hearing more innovative ideas from future student associates. You can find out more information about the Business Startup pitch event at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center on the APEX website and social media platforms as the date draws closer.