Immigration to the U.S. built the country from the ground up. Entrepreneurs from abroad have made the country into what it is today. While immigration is now a highly controversial issue, it still brings in entrepreneurs in a range of industries.
Not only are they making money, but they are changing the way ordinary Americans live their lives. One such story is the story of the Popov Brothers from Bulgaria. On a wave of battery anxiety, they created devices that can keep everything from smartphones to hospital machinery charged at all time.
Nevertheless, the greatest lesson they taught is how much good foreign entrepreneurs can do for America.
A Bulgarian Export
Krassi and Lucky Popov came to America as children. It's a familiar story of a family migrating to the US in order to achieve a better life. They came to America and formed the company Veloxity while they were studying at Bentley University.
And these two young immigrants did it while holding together their strong family bonds. Unlike Mark Zuckerberg, who thwarted a pair of siblings to build his business, the Popov brothers have done this together.
Doing the Right Things
The Popov brothers realized they were on to something when they came up with their state-of-the-art device chargers. They believed in their business so much that Krassi even decided to spend a semester in Hong Kong so he could learn more about manufacturing.
Lucky graduated from college one year early in order to set the company up and get a head start on building their futures.
What is most remarkable about these two entrepreneurs is they didn't come from a strong business background. Unlike Donald Trump, they also didn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started with.
Taking a Chance
Like so many American success stories, they had no experience in business and gambled their futures on the success of their product. Failure could have meant bankruptcy, poverty, and a ruined credit record. It could even lead to the complete breakdown of their lives.
Nevertheless, the brothers credited their ability to stick together. Lucky said, "It's important to really know and trust your business partner and even finish each other's sentences. I'm fortunate enough to say I can do both with my brother."
To start with, they managed to raise $21,000 through investments from family and friends, as well as all they had in the bank. And many of the investors were simply people they knew from college. To make the challenge even bigger, none of the brothers had any experience in business, which meant they made some terrible mistakes as a result.
Every entrepreneur makes mistakes. But the Popov brothers admit that they made many mistakes that they had no business making.
For example, at one stage they rented a warehouse and office space only to realize they were in a bad neighborhood with no air-conditioning. This meant a costly and disruptive move within six months.
Another big mistake the Popov brothers made was they printed business cards with two-side color printing. This meant that none of their prospects could write on the cards, which became apparent rather embarrassingly at their first trade show.
Juggling Studies and Business
While the founders of Google and Microsoft either dropped out or flunked out of college, the two brothers managed to successfully navigate a full-time course load and running a business. They are in an elite group as only 3.6% of businesses are owned by someone under 30.
Krassi said, "There were many days I'd have to excuse myself from class to negotiate a big deal or national partnership."
The two brothers graduated with full honors in 2015. They said that their experience in college revealed the battery anxiety many people face. This is why Veloxity was created, and it has since become the official charging provider for the IndyCar Boston 2016.
They created products that can stay connected and never lose power. So everyone gets the chance to remain in the loop at all time. The company has managed to snag 86 major clients and is now one of the main charging brands within the industry.
A Lesson to be Learned
The inspirational story of the Popov brothers isn't about what they created but how they did it. They demonstrated perseverance, optimism, and time-management skills. Despite not being American themselves, they have completely transformed the fortunes of people within the country.
It goes to show that talent from all over the world can still come to the US and make a difference to the lives of ordinary people and businesses.
Veloxity (www.veloxity.us) rents and sells a full suite of device charging solutions nationwide.