BS 2014 entrepreneurship, finance and marketing
David Hunt, from Charlotte, North Carolina, graduated from Drexel University just four days ago. An entrepreneurship, finance and marketing major, Hunt says he always came to class in suit and tie, he started his first company at the age of 13, and he's trying to make the world a better place one Spor at a time. Take a moment to get to know this ambitious entrepreneur as he explains just what a Spor is and lets you in on his big plans for life after Drexel.
Q: You just graduated a few days ago. Can you talk a little bit about your time as a student?
A: During my freshman year I worked really hard because I actually wanted to go back down south to Duke University where a lot of my friends were. But the summer after my freshman year I realized that a lot of things were going really well for me at Drexel. When I really thought about it I realized that Drexel had the Co-op Program, the classes and professors were great, the information I was learning was engaging and it was really just a beautiful experience and that's when I started to really value it. As a student, I was a Dragon Mentor where I helped incoming students with summer classes. I also became a peer leader helping LeBow freshman transition into college life. In addition to that I was a teacher's assistant, I was on the LeBow Dean's Advisory Board and I was in a group in Student Affairs called Traditions. Something else I'm particularly proud of is that I'm on the LeBow BRIDGE advisory board. BRIDGE is a program that assists students in Building Relationships In Diverse Group Experiences. The goals of the program focus on academic excellence, financial literacy, and social and community engagement. And most recently, at LeBow's graduation, I had the honor of speaking on behalf of the student body.
Q: You started your first business cleaning houses when you were 13 and you've had several companies since then. Where do you think your entrepreneurial spirit comes from?
A: I've always been a business person at heart and I think that's because of my parents who are both entrepreneurs. Also, I got sick the summer after middle school and I was in the hospital for 10 days and that experience has made me a real risk taker. I had to go through some chemo therapy and all I could do was just sit there and ask myself a lot of questions about life. Now, anything good or bad that happens in my life, I compare it to that experience. I don't ever want to be in a situation where I'm not feeling fulfilled or taking risks. After I got better, I felt like so much value was added to my life and it made me want to add value to other peoples' lives.
Q: What has being an entrepreneur taught you?
A: Starting different companies over the years has taught me that not everything is going to be a success. But the only true failure is if you don't learn from your experience. That's just a reality that toughens your skin and everybody has to go through it.
Q: Your latest company, Spor Chargers, has been generating a lot of buzz lately. Can you tell me about it?
A: I'm co-founder and chief marketing officer for Spor Chargers which are battery chargers for USB devices that passively recharge themselves from the sun. It all started when Jason Browne '14, who is also an entrepreneurship major, reached out to me and said he was working on a solar charger. It sounded really cool so I told him to let me know how I could help. When I started working with Jason he was working on the prototype at NextFab Lab in South Philly and my focus was marketing and business development. We pitched Spor at the Drexel's Baiada Institute Incubator Competition in October 2013 and won first place which got us $10,000 and designated space in the Baiada Incubator. That $10,000 really helped us refine the prototype.
Next up, we're waiting to hear back from HAXLR8R, a business accelerator that we applied for which would take us to China to secure suppliers and then to the Bay Area to get access to some potential investors and really just go to market. We should hear from HAXLR8R by the end of June.
In preparation for a full scale launch, we also started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 which features a video of what makes Spor Chargers special.
Q: So what does make Spor so special?
A: Spor is the next big thing in small scale power. People have seen lots of different battery chargers but the thing that I love about Spor is the fact that we’re not just trying to provide something that is a “want” in a developed country, we’re trying to provide something that’s a “need” in developing countries. In some really rural areas, people literally take a bus an hour and a half into town and to pay to charge their mobile devices. Spor would be connecting people with a renewable energy grid, and making energy simple, portable and most importantly affordable. That’s what’s beautiful to me.