For most college students, a busy day consists of cramming for an important exam and keeping your eyelids open during lectures. For Spencer Quinn, a Brigham Young University student and winner of the 2013 EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) Global Finals, a typical school day involves balancing homework with running a successful business. In this interview, the co-founder of FiberFix—a home-repair product that’s 100 times stronger than Duct tape—talks about the impact of GSEA, the value of EO mentorship and the future of his business.
How did you discover the GSEA competition?
SQ: While I was attending a competition called the Utah Top 25, I met an EO member from the Utah chapter who went on to become my mentor. He informed me of a local GSEA com- petition and encouraged me to apply. This chance meeting became the beginning of a wonderful opportunity for me and FiberFix, and continues to have enormous benefits on my life and business!
How did your EO mentor support you throughout the GSEA process?
SQ: My mentor not only prepared me for the competition, but he also gave me tips regarding the promotion of my company. Specifically, he helped me make some marketing strides by showing me and my team that FiberFix is a very demonstrable product, and that if we take opportunities to show people how it works, their positive feedback will help propel the product forward. My mentor also encouraged me to keep going after I won the regional GSEA competition in Utah, and I was fortunate to make it all the way to the EO GSEA Global Finals!
What kind of value did you receive through your GSEA experience?
SQ: The countless mentors, members and people within EO whom I had the pleasure of engaging were phenomenal. They went far beyond the call of helping me prepare for the competition. They took me under their wing and helped me see the potential of FiberFix. They helped me refine my business pitch, define an overall business strategy and discover how to eliminate weaknesses in the product to ensure a consistent quality and user experience. More importantly, the judges at the Global Finals competition asked me some insightful questions that helped steer my future business plans. All in all, the people of EO have been amazing, and I’m highly appreciative of the seasoned guidance they were able to provide.
How has GSEA helped position FiberFix for continued success?
SQ: GSEA has made a huge, huge difference in my expansion plans for FiberFix. As a result of the exposure I’ve received as the EO Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year, I was able to connect with a lot of international distributors, and I’m currently researching the different opportunities for expansion in overseas markets. I’m also looking at growth plans in the U.S. by getting FiberFix in large, national retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s. I couldn’t have done any of these things were it not for EO and the GSEA program!
Looking back on your GSEA journey, what are a few of your biggest lessons learned?
SQ: In terms of business, I’ve learned that the best way to promote your product is to get it out there in front of entrepreneurial veterans and your core audience. I’ve also learned that I have to become a more effective spokesman when it comes to the virtues of FiberFix. Regarding entrepreneurship, I learned that you should not only look for the quickest path to revenue and profitability, but that you also have to place the right team around you to better position your product in the market. Because of GSEA and my mentors, I was able to make several versions of FiberFix and garner feedback from my target audience. As a result, I made important tweaks in my business strategy, which has helped me continue FiberFix’s success.
Spencer Quinn’s product, FiberFix, is currently in more than 6,000 stores around the U.S., and has been featured on ABC’s reality-television show, “Shark Tank.” For more information, contact Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fiberfix.com. To learn more about GSEA, visit www.gsea.org or contact GSEA@eonetwork.org.