By: Justin Taubman
When we talk about serial entrepreneurs I usually think about folks well out beyond college-age. At least, that’s what I thought until I met Sam Feldman (UMD ‘16). Sam epitomizes the mission of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Sam recounted his history with the Dingman Center and it made me feel really good about what the programming that the Center provides. He told me he started out his freshman year going to Dingman Fridays, he has competed in Pitch Dingman Competition twice (and mistakenly thought he wasn’t allowed to compete again), and he has taken the Fearless Founders Idea Shell and Hatch courses. Today, Sam is launching a Kickstarter campaign for his new venture, the Card Buddy Deluxe, a high-quality leather stick-on wallet for the back of the phone.
Everyone has seen the rubber stick-on wallets for the back of the phone, the University of Maryland’s IT Department even gives them out for free. However, Sam felt there was white space in the industry. He saw potential in higher quality wallets that wouldn’t tear and that would look more like a wallet one would put in their back pocket or their hand bag. Thus inspired the Car Buddy Deluxe.
Sam’s search for a manufacturer of this new product started on a little platform named, Alibaba. This was by no means a trivial task. After negotiating with eleven manufacturers, Sam ended up with dozens of samples and selected what he believed to be a stellar prototype. After more negotiation on cost and what it would take to reach economies of scale, Sam had his manufacturer.
Today on Kickstarter, the first 100 orders can get their Card Buddy Deluxe for just $15, the next 100 sold will be $16, and so on until they reach $20 (they will sell in stores for $25). To help out his campaign, Sam got on social media to call for help from influential personalities that he admires. He showed me how he has gotten a friend with a fancy engraving printer that works perfectly on his product to design custom wallets with the faces of influencers that he has solicited to help with his Kickstarter campaign.
This is the story of a student that happens to be a serial entrepreneur that has used every resource at his fingertips to develop a great product and business. Sam Feldman should inspire all the other entrepreneurs out there to take a break from that video game or Netflix and just make something out of nothing.
Support Sam’s Kickstarter here.