Name: Micah Roberson
Major: Finance and Corporate Innovation
Business: CleverCart, a way to optimize grocery planning. Grocery shopping takes a long time and even only orders like Instacart take too much time. With Clever Cart, the idea is that you create a grocery list on your phone and press a button and have Clever Cart find the best prices, best stores, and apply coupons to it. It’s like only grocery shopping with Honey.
What is your story?
I have been doing entrepreneurship since I was 13 and have had a lot of different failed companies. I am at around 7 ideas in counting, but I’ve learned a lot throughout that experience. What kind of got me started with my journey is my belief that I exist is to create a positive impact on the world for me and others. I believe the most powerful ways to do that is through entrepreneurship. For example, you can raise a million dollars for a company in this day and age, but you can’t raise a million to feed America. I think you really need to do it through startups. One of my first endeavors was a coffee shop business that sold coffee beans and donated to a water charity that created wells in Africa. I created a tool for people to use governmental spending better, where you can create your own intention for the money given to the government. My most recent one was a chatbot that whenever you had a drop in grades or a teacher noticed you were not doing well would check in with you and give you the resources you needed. I created CleverCart because it gained a lot of interest from my friends and people around me. I needed something that was feasibly to create in college, light, and scalable.
What’s been your favorite failure / most valuable learning experience?: The bike parts selling business was probably the worst for me. I would spend all my time after school and on the weekends aworking on my company and work on the weekends over and over again. I had poured so much time into it, and as soon as it was ready to scale – COVID-19 happened. That meant that all of the work that I had done was for nothing because all of my distributors stopped selling their products. With that failure, I had a valuable learning experience. You can’t sacrifice everything because at some point your hopes and aspirations might fail. I learned that you need to focus on what matters to you also, beyond just a company. I learned that your friends, family, and you are the most important as you are working on a startup.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received as an entrepreneur?
- Don’t do it for you. You have to have some reason for doing entrepreneurship other than earning money. There are lots of ways to make money and a lot easier ways to make money besides doing entrepreneurship. You have to motivated by making a positive impact on something other than yourself. You have to be willing to do it for something the other than you. If it was for you and it didn’t succeed than it wasn’t for you.
- Just keep swimming, as Dory said it. At the end of the day, most people that succeed aren’t usually the smartest. It’s thepeople who are able to keep going, be resilient, continue learning andlearning, and uncderstanding success is not about getting something to work the first or second time but rather about winning one percent of the time.
What has been the most valuable resource you have utilized at the university?
The community support from the Shoebox. The mentorship and recommendations from the people around me has been very helpful as a student entrepreneur.
What has been the most valuable resource to you outside of IU?
How can people connect with you?
You can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org and go https://www.clevercart.app/ for info on our Beta version that’ll be launched around December.