It was just another elevator pitch competition, or so I thought. The 2013 Southeast Entrepreneurship Conference (SEEC) had already been much better than I had expected, so why should I have been surprised at the quality of young entrepreneurs pitching their ideas and businesses in the elevator pitch competition?
All of the pitches were fascinating, but one of the few that stuck out the most was that of City Sleekers. Maybe it was their cool bike branded in their logo and colors, or the car tire they brought with them, or maybe it was the team that all came wearing their businesses t-shirts and looked ready to compete, or possibly the fact that their business is a great idea that is sure to become a success.
Founder Nick Price and the City Sleekers team finished 3rd out of 26 competitors. After the competition I followed up with him for a short interview about the business and his entrepreneurial background.
Founders: Nick Price (22), Evan Brady (22)
Current Owners: Nick Price, Trey Summers (16)
Founded: September, 2012
General Business Description: City Sleekers is a waterless, Eco-friendly, car cleaning company that comes to you. They transform every parking space into your clean car waiting to happen by coming to the customer whether you’re working, shopping or even just stopping for a sandwich.
Michael Luchies: When did you first show interest in being an entrepreneur?
Nick Price: I always have wanted to work for myself and it really kicked into gear after I took Nathan Schwagler’s Creativity in Entrepreneurship class at USFSP (University of South Florida St. Petersburg).
ML: I also got really excited about entrepreneurship from a class I took. How was your experience at the SEEC Conference?
NP: It was awesome! I had an amazing time listening to all the great speakers. UT put on a great conference, that campus is really awesome and everyone there welcomed us with open arms. SEEC was a great experience and I can’t wait for next year.
NP: It was nerve wracking!! I went second to last out of 26 other students, so when I finally gave my pitch in the semi finals I was so relieved! I was so impressed with all the other pitch ideas some of the other students came up with.
ML: How did you get the idea for City Sleekers?
NP: Evan thought of it for a school project and threw the idea by me, I loved it.
ML: A lot of young entrepreneurs have trouble coming up with the perfect name for their businesses, how did you come up with City Sleekers?
NP: We figured we liked our cars to look sleek and we were primarily targeting cities for traveling by bicycle. So we put the two together like PB n J.
ML: Did you have any ventures before CS? If so, have you experienced any failures and how did you learn and recover?
NP: I started a computer repair company with a friend of mine in 2009 while I was attending FGCU. It didn’t really take off around the college campus atmosphere. I have learned from failure – it was difficult to recover but trial and error is a part of starting your own business. I learned to target my audience more accurately.
ML: What is next for City Sleekers?
NP: GROW, GROW, GROW. We’re going to keep working on getting more locations, build our reputation, and help preserve our beautiful planet.
ML: What advice would you have for young entrepreneurs?
NP: Never ever give up. Keep working, don’t over think, and try and try and try again.
That is very good advice. It is important to learn from mistakes and try again. Thank you to Nick Price and City Sleekers for the interview and good luck in the future.