Argus Venture allow high school and college students to trade textbooks with one another
Please introduce yourself and your startup Argus Venture to our readers!
My name is Kingsley Tapp and, after graduating high school, I decided to defer a year from college to embark on a path of self-discovery. I co-owned two nonprofit organizations, one being an aviation educational organization and the other being a thoroughbred rescue trust. It was through these endeavours that I gained the confidence to start my own company, Argus Venture LLC, or Argus for short.
We’re a software development firm staffed entirely by college students and are working on designing an app that will allow high school and college students to trade textbooks with one another.
How did you get the idea to Argus Venture?
The name came to me after a long discussion with the other two owners. We were trying to think or something clean, professional, and unique. I began looking through various Greek names from old stories that I read when I was young. The name ‘Argus’ came to me after reading the Odyssey by Homer, Argus being the protagonist’s faithful dog and the namesake of the ship, the Argo. Being a passionate sailor myself, I thought the name was suiting.
However, the concept being the company has a more interesting story. At my high school, all of the students were required to buy their own textbooks, just as people do in college. Textbook prices are for to expensive across the United States and many students have said that these high prices have been barriers for taking certain classes or for even attending a college or university. My team and I are trying to change that.
We’re designing an app that allows college students to buy, sell, and trade their textbooks through our server.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
As many say, the biggest hurdle with creating a company is taking the initiative to make your dream a reality. I had this idea long ago in my high school’s entrepreneur club, but never moved forward with it. During my gap year, I began to see a need for a service like this, and made the decision to make my vision come true. I gathered two close friends to be co-owners of the company and continued to grow and expand. In less than a month, we gathered a team of employees from all over the globe, from Sweden to California and The Greater Chicago Area to Germany.
We got an office in my hometown of Louisville, KY and staffed a team of experienced business advisors to help us along the way.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience is solely made up of high school/college students and potentially students outside the U.S down the road.
What is the USP of your startup?
Our company is geared to solving a problem in our community and country. I recognized a problem and set forth to fix it. We will charge a small and inexpensive fee to students to use our service and, in exchange, they will have the ability to save hundreds of dollars each year, as well as find something to do with their old textbooks that are gathering dust.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
A typical day with Argus entails having an early-morning conversation with our staff, getting into details about our company’s progress with our executives in the European Union who operate in different time-zones. Then, I begin working with the programming team on continuing the development of the Argus app. We have people working on both the front end of the app as well as the databases and “behind the scenes” stuff. Being limited with my technology ability, I help out the coding team in any way I can, and then get to work on tackling any issues that arise within the company, mostly revolving around the programming side of things. Then, my marketing team and I coordinate better strategies on getting the word out about Argus, from college fairs to blog articles and social media promotions.
I conclude the day with a meeting with the entire staff who updates me on what each individual has done and how we plan to go forward.
Where do you see yourself and your startup Argus Venture in five years?
In five years, I hope to see every college in the United States and many more international schools all using the Argus textbook trading app, both saving students valuable money as well as revolutionizing the way students acquire textbooks. I have plans for Argus Venture to expand beyond our current duties and into general software development, solving multitudes of problems in our community through productive and useful apps and software.
What 3 tips would you give other Startup founders on the way?
The first thing I would say is never tell yourself no. Never say “I can’t do it”. If you have an idea, run with it. Take advantage of any connections and opportunities you have, and don’t burn bridges where a fire is not needed. I could not have gotten this far without my loyal and supportive team behind me. I am ever grateful for their time, dedication, and commitment to help my vision become a reality.
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Thank you Kingsley Tapp for the Interview
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