PROVO, Utah – Jul 23, 2018 – Entrepreneurship called Eric Espinosa’s name for the first time when Espinosa’s fourth grade teacher read a story about an entrepreneur and explained entrepreneurship to the class. Espinosa is now an entrepreneurial management senior and aspiring serial entrepreneur who sees failure as part of the process. He lives by the motto, “Failure is inevitable, but if you relentlessly follow correct principles, success is also inevitable.”
Espinosa always has plenty of bright ideas for new endeavors. His most recent venture—Fresh Stamp—received high praise at several trade shows, and won the New Venture Challenge and $20,000 from the Miller Competition Series through the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU Marriott.
Espinosa started Fresh Stamp in February when he learned that grocery stores lose about $140,000 per location each year just in expired goods. Employees currently have to check expiration dates by hand and either discount or throw away products that are too old. Espinosa’s solution was to create an expiration date in barcode format to add to grocery labels. This “fresh stamp” would be easy to scan when new inventory came in and would allow stores to track product expiration. Employees could discount products by batch rather than discounting the entire product line and mitigate inventory shrink.
So why did he decide to shut down his company just months after founding it?
Espinosa had investors lining up—everyone wanted in. But before he could take someone else’s money, he had to be absolutely confident that his venture would be successful. “I wanted to be intellectually honest about whether or not it would work,” Espinosa says. “And I found out that manufacturers would be so slow implementing this that grocery stores wouldn’t have enough products with the code on it quickly enough to justify the investment.”
His business model still works, but it would take the grocery and manufacturing industries about six years to adopt the service, and grocery stores don’t have money to invest unless they can get an ROI within two years. “There’s no use in wasting time and money on opportunities that aren’t fully validated,” says Espinosa, who may pursue the idea again in the future. “So I found out everything I could right at the beginning.”
Fresh Stamp isn’t the first company Espinosa has shut down, and he has a plethora of ideas for future ventures. His next project is to create a waterslide with a kicker at the end that would launch riders twenty-five feet high and twenty-five feet forward. He plans to build his first waterslide near the Las Vegas strip and then expand to other locations.
“I can be successful because I know the process and how business works,” Espinosa says. “And I’ll always be ready to move on to the next idea.”
Espinosa doesn’t get discouraged because his professors in the entrepreneurship program at BYU Marriott have done a great job of teaching him the process of having a repeatable, scalable business model with low startup costs. He also has experience interacting with real-world business professionals.
“BYU Marriott’s entrepreneurship program is fantastic because the community is so involved and willing to help,” Espinosa says. “The school has extremely successful business professionals who are willing to share their time and talents with us.”
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Katelyn Stiles