“What have you done entrepreneurially that you think will help you out in this job?”
This, GVSU graduate Justin Herd says, is a question you will likely get asked during a job interview.
“That was the second question of my interview,” Herd said.
Lucky for him, Herd has quite an entrepreneurial background; during his time at GVSU, he created the OneBowl, a microwave safe bowl with a built in strainer and snap on lid. He raised nearly $60,000 for manufacturing on Kickstarter.
Herd currently works in sales at Dominion Systems, a Grand Rapids based software company that specializes in human resources and payroll.
“I got the job based on the entrepreneurial things I did connected to Grand Valley,” Herd said.
Herd came up with the idea for the OneBowl during his senior year as a marketing major at GVSU. He began competing in business competitions, including GVSU’s own idea pitch competition, 5×5 Night, MSU’s Greenlight business plan competition, the MWest Challenge, and Accelerate West Michigan.
After graduating from GVSU in 2014, Herd launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for tooling. After 33 days, the OneBowl Kickstarter closed at $58,000.
When asked if he was surprised that his Kickstarter did so well and exceeded his funding goal, Herd replied, “Yes and no. When you have a vision for a product that you want to take to market, you look at what you need to do, and this is what I needed to do.”
Herd then faced a significant setback when he started working with an unreliable manufacturer, halting the development of the OneBowl. Despite this, Herd has forged ahead and continues to work towards getting his product through manufacturing.
Herd is able to utilize what he learned throughout the entrepreneurial process at his day job at Dominion Systems–driving his own schedule and workflow, setting goals and making valuable connections with clients and colleagues.
“I think I have learned as much from this venture than I anything else I have done in my life.” Herd said. “I think that has been the most rewarding part–to take what I have learned and apply it to my career.”
Herd graduated from GVSU in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.