By Melissa Martin-Simmons
Elias Schulkin had always been a star student.
“He got a 2100 on the SATs and earned a 3.8 GPA in college,” said Jeremy Schulkin, Elias Schulkin’s younger brother. “But [he] couldn’t find a job after college.”
Jeremy Schulkin said after six months of job searching, the 24-year-old graduate of Richard Stockton College in New Jersey decided to start a reward-based crowd funding business.
“He [Elias] got the idea from a company he interned with,” said Schulkin, who is a student at Towson University. “They were trying to run a crowdfunding campaign, but it was unsuccessful.”
Elias Schulkin’s experiences as a marketing major made him confident in starting a crowdfundnig business. The Crowdfunding Boutique was launched Jan. 1, Jeremy Schulkin said.
But Elias Schulkin didn’t start the company alone.
Jeremy Schulkin and 12 Towson interns perform sales work and acquire more clients for the company, the first step Elias Schulkin took to start his company. This requires the company to conduct research on social media websites and find business that could use its services.
“We actually got our first client Jan. 2,” Jeremy Schulkin said. “We had 10 by Jan. 15.”
Once clients decide to work with the boutique, the Schulkins write press releases to gain media exposure for the products.
These products include invisible hearing aids, home automation systems, smart watches and artificial intelligence, a cube that controls everything in a person’s house.
The Crowdfunding Boutique made $9,000 in its first month. Today, Jeremy Schulkin said the company has made $43,000. In addition, the company has international clients in Singapore, China and the United Kingdom.
Working directly with customers is one of the ways the boutique separates itself from competitors, Jeremy Schulkin said.
“We don’t use algorithms and bots for our work,” he said. “We connect directly with each client and work together to reach set goals.”
While the company has been successful in the past few months, Schulkin says making it happen wasn’t easy.
“Juggling school with company responsibilities is no easy job,” he said. “I wake up early in the morning and complete company work before and after classes. I always stay close to my e-mail to keep to keep in contact with clients.”
Schulkin has high hopes for the company’s future.
“My ultimate goal is to run a campaign and have our clients’ items sold in Target,” he said.
The 21-year-old Mass Communication major also said he enjoys working for the company.
“I joined at first just to help out,” Schulkin said. “However I realized how interesting it was and how rewarding it was to be able to help startup companies reach their goals and bring their ideas to the market.”
The Crowdfunding Boutique hopes to open an office within a few years.