Deniz Yalcin, a senior accounting major and student entrepreneur, opened his own business, American Electric Cycle, this past summer in Brigantine, N.J.
His business partner saw similar bikes down in Florida and together they came up with the idea to bring the concept up to New Jersey and sell them by the beach.
Yalcin commented on the success of the business in its first month of operation.
“We made 30 grand in the first month so it was decently successful,” Yalcin said.
American Electric Cycle specializes in selling different bikes like racing bikes, regular mountain bike and beach bikes. They all feature electric motors and in some cases can go up to 20 miles per hour. Yalcin said the bikes were rented and sold mostly during the summer season.
In the business, Yalcin focuses on the financial aspect. He considers himself the chief financial officer, while his partner takes on the role of managing store operations.
Business is a bit slower now in the winter, since not too many people frequent the Brigantine area at this time of year, however, sales are still made by appointment only.
James Orsini, the chief operating officer at VaynerMedia and Yalcin’s mentor, commented on Yalcin’s work ethic and how his best qualities make him a better entrepreneur.
“Deniz demonstrates a relentless pursuit of his passions,” Orsini said. “Whether that means starting businesses in language learning, social media advertising or now retail sales, he is an ‘all in’ kind of guy. Demonstration of a relentless pursuit of his passion of the moment sets Deniz apart. ‘No, impossible, and can’t happen’ are words simply not in his vocabulary.”
Professor Susan Scherreik, founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Stillman School of Business and another mentor Yalcin frequently goes to for advice, commented on his business’ potential.
“I think it has great potential,” Scherreik said. “A motorized bike is a great way to get around the Seton Hall University campus and South Orange. I think that he can take his business to other college campuses, too, as well as cities and other urban environments where you need to get around quickly in high-traffic situations. In addition, motorized bikes cause less pollution than cars.”
Scherreik believes that Yalcin’s can-do attitude is a big factor in his success, not only as an entrepreneur but also as a student, and that his passion and confidence really help set him apart.
As for inspiring other young entrepreneurs who may want to follow his example, Yalcin emphasizes the importance of patience.
“The most important thing is to be realistic and have patience,” Yalcin said. “I am not going to be the person who says you can do anything or be the next Zuckerberg. I am very realistic with people. But if you have a dream and you want to make it happen then with hard work and hustle, you can make something of it. To make it you need serious dedication, and that is what I would say if someone asked me for advice.”
Rhania Kamel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.