Up Close and Personal: Skyler Logsdon's New App Nothing to Coif About
February 18, 2014
by Joseph Master
The Close School of Entrepreneurship already has a connection at Facebook —and all it took was a bad haircut.
Back in January, Sam Lessin, an old Harvard pal of Mark Zuckerberg who now works at Facebook, posted an innocent rant on his profile about how uncomfortable he felt describing how he wants his hair cut at the barbershop. The post made the rounds on social media — even making it onto Valleywag, the Gawker-owned Silicon Valley gossip blog.
"I want an app where I can choose from a series of cuts ... prior photos of me ... maybe do a little on-screen editing, and then say ... make it like that," Lessin wrote.
Little did he know that Drexel LeBow entrepreneurship major Skyler Logsdon already did. And Logsdon made sure to comment on the post so Lessin would see it.
As one of the first student entrepreneurs to participate in the Close School of Entrepreneurship's Launch It! course — which awards qualified students up to $2,000 in seed funding* to launch a startup and test actual business models — Logsdon created MyKlipsPics, a socially integrated app now available on iOS that allows you to show your stylist detailed pictures of your desired haircut.
The premise is simple: You need to provide evidence of what looks good to ensure you don't get what looks bad. Logsdon, who rode to Drexel on headlines as a sophomore transfer student after becoming the first recipient of a full scholarship established by the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, is no stranger to the spotlight. Not only has MyKlipsPics launched — it has already received acclaim from local press and even European style blogs. Perhaps the greatest show of support came from none other than Sam Lessin, who immediately began following MyKlipsPics on Instagram. He even liked Logsdon's post about his Facebook rant. Since going live earlier this month, the response has been overwhelming.
We sat down with Logsdon to talk about his Drexel career and the app that just might propel him above the cut ...
Tell us your life story in a tweet (140 characters). No cheating. Go.
Entrepreneur Vision. Quarterback Mentality. Philanthropist Heart. Curiosity of a toddler.
That was only 92 characters.
That's all I needed.
You are a California guy, right? Tell us why a Cali kid would end up a Drexel Dragon?
Yeah, I'm from a small town of 10,000 people called Ojai, about 75 miles north of Los Angeles. All my friends went to UCLA, USC, Cal Poly — maybe Berkley. For me, I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to see if I could create a name for myself outside of this 10,000-person town. I wanted to experience culture, diversity, winters, the big city, and the East Coast. When I applied here, Drexel offered me a full scholarship sponsored by Boeing/KPMG and the University, so I packed up my bags and headed East!
You have really excelled at Drexel. As you near graduation and reflect on your time here, what was the key to your success?
My key to success here at Drexel was the scholarship I won sponsored by Boeing and KPMG. Many students have to work in order to pay rent and tuition, but fortunately, Drexel was able to invest in me to make sure finances were not a problem, so I could focus on my academics, projects, and putting LeBow and the Close School of Entrepreneurship on the map. That's the reason I'm here, and what I'm devoted to doing.
Tell us about Launch It! How does the class work? What is a typical class like?
Launch It! is awesome. It's my ideal workplace atmosphere. It's a room filled with 30 creative and innovative entrepreneurs who are all in the process of taking an idea to market. The class meets on a weekly basis for 3 hours. Chuck Sacco, the professor — the guy is a consummate entrepreneur himself — gives us weekly journals that we have to fill out and present to the class on the progress of our product. Chuck really drills you with those uncomfortable questions that make you think deeply about your product, especially if he sees potential. There's a great amount of bouncing ideas off fellow classmates, giving tips to one another on ways to prevent bumps in the road, and also extending contacts to one another. It's by far my favorite class I've taken at Drexel so far. I feel comfortable and complete there. I feel like that's the room I belong in.
Give us your elevator pitch for MyKlipsPics. Sell us.
MyKlipsPics allows users to show their stylist photos of their desired haircut. As a result, MyKlipsPics eliminates the uncomfortable and timely process of having to describe how you want your hair cut. You can ditch explanations like, "I want it kind of, like, shaggy and layered, but not too layered. You know what I mean, right? RIGHT?" Here is a hint: They never know what you mean.
What are your next steps? For the app and beyond?
Even though I accepted KPMG's offer in LA as an international business consultant, I will still find time to manage MyKlipsPics until it is acquired. I believe this is an attractive application and marketing tool for companies like Unilever, Loreal, Aveda, Paul Mitchell and Conair, who could exclusively advertise their products to MyKlipsPics user — who obviously care about their hair.
Obviously, you had a bad haircut experience when you first came to Philadelphia. After all your market research, who is your go-to barber in the city?
Hands down, Marc, the owner at Styles Inspired by Marc on 38th and Lancaster. Marc is extremely versatile with his cuts. He's great to talk to, very close to campus, and a true utilitarian who looks out for the greater good of people. He offers $15 dollar haircuts Mon-Wed for students, and $5 haircuts on Sundays for routine customers. He understands that college students are strapped for cash, so he helps us out so we can walk around campus in style.
*This award will be added to your financial aid award and will be applied first to any university charges currently not covered. If you currently do not have a balance due, or there is funding from this award left over after it is applied to your account balance, you may be eligible to receive a refund for that amount. We strongly encourage you to sign up for eRefund so that you can easily and quickly access these funds.