Featured on Purdue University's Entrepreneurship site
ALUMNUS CONNECTS STUDENT INNOVATORS, HOBBYISTS WITH SPECIALIZED ELECTRONICS
WHO THEY ARE
As a kid growing up in Newburgh, Ind., Brandon Stevens became fascinated with electronics, building his first radio receiver at the age of seven. Between 4-H projects on basic electrical and computing principles and tinkering with his own homemade control systems for quiz bowl tie-breakers, ventilation fans and model railroad layouts, Stevens always had a project in the works, a characteristic that followed him to Purdue where he studied electrical and computer engineering technology (ECET) as an undergraduate and graduate student.
The son of two small-business owners, Stevens noticed a dearth of consumer-grade electronics kits for hobbyists trying to get their hands on specialized parts and young people just beginning to learn about electronics. In the final year of his ECET master's program at Purdue, Stevens conceived Electronics Education In A Box (EE In A Box), an online retail store dedicated to supplying and educating the next generation of electronics innovators and hobbyists.
WHAT THEY'RE DOING
As the primary supplier of electronics parts for students at Purdue's main and regional campuses, EE In A Box has found its niche as a reliable source for items such as microprocessors, electrolytic capacitors and wire kits, parts engineers and hobbyists across the country use to build electronic systems that solve real-world problems. Since 2005, electronic hobbyists have been using parts supplied by EE In A Box to complete lab work and in senior projects where they build student-designed electronic devices – some of which have commercial appeal.
As a sole proprietor, Stevens plans on expanding his venture to include educational kits to teach hobbyists about topics such as digital logic, microprocessor controls and electronic amplifiers. In 2013, EE In A Box began development on its first educational module, designed to teach young children about circuits. The module is being developed by an intern Stevens contracted through the Interns for Indiana program, a Purdue initiative that matches startup companies with high-quality undergraduate student interns.
HOW THEY GOT THERE
No stranger to entrepreneurship, Stevens owned and operated his own lawn care and landscaping business as a youth. As a member of the 4-H Junior Leaders, he negotiated with vendors and managed the club food stand at the Warrick County 4-H Fair several years. He leaned on the knowledge gained from both experiences when writing a business plan for EE In A Box, which he entered in the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition.
To turn his plan into reality, Stevens consulted resources from the Indiana Small Business Development Center and Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He registered the domain name for the EE In A Box website with GoDaddy.com and established distributor relationships with manufacturers of electronic hobby parts.
For development meetings, Stevens rents space at the Docking Station, a space dedicated for entrepreneurship activities located in Chauncey Village near Purdue's campus. He networks with local entrepreneurs and business owners during "Friday Morning at the Morton Center" events sponsored by the Purdue Innovation and Commercialization Center-IT (ICC-IT). For new ideas on entrepreneurship, Stevens also makes a point to attend meetings and public presentations organized by the Krannert School of Management, Purdue Research Foundation and Verge, an organization of Lafayette-area software developers and entrepreneurs.
"Don't get discouraged if people aren't enthusiastic about your idea. Nobody is going to be as enthusiastic about your idea as you," Stevens says.
Featured on: http://www.purdue.edu/giving/becauseofyou/ifi.html
INTERNS FOR INDIANA IS INSPIRING STUDENT ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND FUELING ECONOMIC GROWTH
Entrepreneurism fuels the business fires that keep our country growing, and globally it is viewed as an answer to the economic and social problems facing the world. The Kauffman Foundation estimates that more than 2,000 colleges and universities in the United States that offer a course in entrepreneurship, and there are approximately 5,000 courses on entrepreneurship, up from 250 in 1985. But there are still a lot of questions being asked about entrepreneurship education.
As we focus the lens we see this rapidly growing area of education is being done through integrated and experiential approaches. At Purdue University, Interns for Indiana is providing opportunities for students to have entrepreneurial learning beyond the classroom. By matching students with start-up companies, students are immersed in an entrepreneurial environment. “In addition to the classroom based learning, we offer a way to learn outside the classroom and gain real-world experience at a start-up company,” says Monica Shively, IfI sustainability coordinator.
Austin Saragih, majoring in industrial engineering while pursuing a minor in global engineering studies, and working to earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, gained valuable knowledge through his Interns for Indiana placement with EE in A Box. He credits the startup company experience with providing him the tools for business and product development, and understanding of the aspects of being an entrepreneur. “The internship prepared me for being innovative and entrepreneurial in work, which will be helpful after graduation,” shares Saragih.
“I grew a lot from that work experience, from the guidance of my great mentor and EE in A Box CEO Brandon Stevens, and from the professional development sessions,” explains Saragih.
His first real-world, non-research experience with IfI helped him with a smooth transition toward his current internship as associate management engineer at Henry Ford Health System. “The best part of IfI, for me has been that it international-student friendly,” he explains.
“If circumstances permit, I would love to stay in Indiana and start a consulting company,” says Saragih. “Of course, I have to gather experience and expertise before implementing that plan.”
About EE In A Box, LLC: Our mission is simple: to provide the best products and service to our customers. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell. Our online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to browse our product catalog.
To keep your information and data safe, We do not accept phone orders. Please visit our web store to place your secure order.
Please note: We do not have a retail store, orders cannot be picked up from EE In A Box.
Your personal infomation and credit card is safe: You can shop at www.eeinabox.com and www.shop.eeinabox.com with confidence. We have partnered with a company that adheres to strict industry standards for payment processing, including:
128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology for secure Internet Protocol (IP) transactions.
Industry leading encryption hardware and software methods and security protocols to protect customer information.
Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Both www.eeinabox.com and www.shop.eeinabox.com are registered with the Authorize.Net Verified Merchant Seal program.