Trevor Sidewand, a biomedical/mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Akron, decided to start Sheer in 2021 during his senior year. His main goal is to help small businesses launch membership programs.
Trevor’s education in biomedical engineering and experience in programming and product design inspired him to start his entrepreneurial journey. During the time that he was an engineering student, he was taught to solve problems and use critical thinking.
Prior to Sheer, Trevor had a different startup that he worked on in 2019. This business focused on higher education, and the main issue that he faced working with this kind of clientele was that the process was very long and strenuous. Trevor discovered that he wanted to take a different approach, and begin another startup that works closely with the customer.
Shortly after Trevor decided to start a new venture, he discovered an interest in the hair and beauty industry. This allows him to build close relationships with the customer since the salon owner is the one purchasing the product. A common trend with salon owners is that they provide services while running their business at the same time. This inspired Trevor to develop a solution that would help one of the main problems - Finding new clients.
Trevor used his engineering mindset and problem solving skills to start building technical solutions to problems that many salon owners face. This eventually led to him finding his business, Sheer.
As a tech startup selling to non-technical businesses, Trevor had to find a way to overcome that barrier. His experience in programming allowed him to develop technical solutions that are easy for his clients to understand and use. He recommends entrepreneurs who are just starting out in the tech industry to use programming platforms, like Bubble.
Trevor’s formal job as a product designer helped him discover the most important aspect of design – Keeping it as simple as possible. He states “whenever you’re designing a product, whenever you’re working through a solution, the idea is to be able to take something very complex and make it really simple.”
Trevor’s Advice to Future Entrepreneurs
One of Trevor’s main tips for aspiring student entrepreneurs is to do your research. It’s important to know which industry you want to work in so that you understand what your clients’ needs are and how to develop proper solutions. He recommends doing more research than you think you need to so that you “know the industry as well as your customer does and then maybe even know it better.”
Trevor also believes that it’s important to start out small. He recommends building a small solution for your target industry first, and continue to scale up from there.
Learn more about Trevor and his business, Sheer, in our Dream It, Do It episode!
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