Meet the UCLA students dominating the start-up world
Anyone who has a phone can ‘flux with it’
Flux is a portable charger created by UCLA students that has received love from various publications, including a number one ranking on Yahoo Tech and Digital trends. To borrow the phrase from a mentor, anyone who has a phone can “flux with it”. And, if you’re a college student, there’s a lot you can learn from the founders.
The creators of the Flux chargers have a way of getting things done in the world of Tech while being undergrads full-time.
The founders: Max, Kate, Miles, and Alejandro – are complementary to the four sides that make up the golden rectangle. Their product including the company logo equal the golden ratio.
They aren’t startup douche bags, or tech snobs. These people are thoughtful, driven and they’re making waves in the world of tech.
Alejandro, a CS Major and founder of Flux, is a Bolivian international student who chose UCLA on a whim. Ale met Miles through a mutual friend and they eventually went on to collaborate on what would become the Flux chargers startup.
Miles is an amicable, kinetic, and attentive math/econ surfer from northern San Diego. He is the idea guy and the visionary for their products.
Ale and Miles came together for the UCLA Startup Accelerator program and thus began their journey with the invention of Flux.
When they completed their project, the idea was to quickly monetize. They went on to constitute the first doctrine into their startup, a philosophy they call Sävage Sales – a sales tactic created by Alejandro which means physically making sales in the streets using a square card reader.
How was your first experience using the Sävage Sales tactic?
Ale: We had the first 50 units manufactured. As we headed to the UCLA VC fund conference in Silicon Valley toward the last week of the program, I made an effort to pitch the product at gas stations, diners, and so on to get over that fear of getting customer valuation, and make some money. The more sales I closed, the better I would become at executing.
Did you implement that tactic at the VC fund?
Ale: The presentation was challenging. After the pitch, I sold the product to most of the audience outside the venue using the square card reader for $30. It was an eye-opening experience. We were the only ones to do this at the conference out of anyone, including MBA students from the Anderson school of Business.
During this time in the Bay Area, they recruited Kate. She draws clients and checks the design of their products to ensure comprehensiveness for their users. She is an expert in managing school, Flux, and being an athlete for the UCLA NCAA Women’s Rowing team.
The final person they recruited was Max. He is a political science major with an open mind. He is calm and collected, and has a cool vibe emanating from the creativity of Miles and the praxis of Alejandro, along with the industrious patterns of Kate.
Here is some advice the team would like to share in relation to their company culture when starting a company.
What is BAUS?
Miles: It stemmed from the word BOSS. I coined the term out of excitement for when good business completion of valuable tasks occurs from someone in the team. When business is booming, you say BAUS. And when you’re doing something wrong, you use the word, POOS, the opposite.
Can you explain the self-sustaining business theory you’ve employed at Flux?
Miles: The uniqueness of Flux is to be self-sufficient financially. We take advice from outside sources and mentors: UCLA alumni, Startup UCLA, and Everipedia. In terms of finances, our focus on e-commerce sales helped us get off the ground. This allows us more funds to explore other ventures such as Flux.LA.
What about time management?
Miles: We believe in managing our time to have the incremental success that leads to compounding success. That is, we believe that success has a mathematically compounding nature, so the more success one experiences, the more success will be experienced in the future. So each day, as we come together, we must make progress in some way in order to establish the accomplishments for the future.
What advice do you have for an entrepreneur?
Ale: What matters is learning. The aim is to go after what you want to accomplish and learn about the process to make it happen. Five years ago, I was afraid and nervous to talk to people on the street to make sales. Anyone can read books about entrepreneurial tasks, but there’s nothing like getting your feet wet.
What is your advice for “entrepreneurs” across College campuses?
Ale: Ideas are worth nothing. Execution is what matters most. Our reputation as app developers and marketers gets us consulting jobs from other startups due to our expertise in getting things done.
For college students interested in tech, Flux is an example that not every startup has to start out as an app. To make it happen you have to be courageous, confident, and BAUS.
You must always remember to make your company fun, and that while developing your company, you are also developing its culture.
To get yours, head to fluxchargers.com.