Saachi Cywinski '13
Position: Founder, WriteyBoard
Industry: Consumer Goods
Lesson Learned: There will always be problems. Act on them sooner rather than later.
While studying at LMU, I developed a preference for study rooms on campus that were equipped with wall-to-wall whiteboards that allowed me to display my ideas. The problem was these rooms were in demand and hard to reserve during exam periods. When I decided to buy a whiteboard for home use, I experienced “sticker shock” – finding that most traditional 4x6 whiteboards cost $250 before shipping and installation.
That’s when my partner and I came up with the idea of WriteyBoard, a multi-use, stick-on whiteboard that sold approximately $16,000 worth in the first week alone. We used the proceeds to pay for our first batch of inventory. Total capital invested in WriteyBoard was only $1,000 and our first year gross revenue totaled $172,000. WriteyBoard has emerged as an innovative, inexpensive, and eco-friendly alternative to the more expensive traditional whiteboards and has been featured in The New York Times and Inc. magazine, among others.
LMU’s entrepreneurship program taught me several lessons on how to launch a product you truly believe in: invest, don’t speculate; you don’t have to diversify; the stock market is there to serve you, not to instruct you; allocate capital efficiently; don’t go into debt; think independently; and time is a good business’ best friend.