Entrepreneur student turns cardboard boxes into cash

Jed Dean | Lariat Photo Editor
Zionsville, Ind., junior Cole Chapman is being recognized in the College Entrepreneur’s Organization Spring Newsletter for his business College Cardboard. College Cardboard is a moving box business that caters to college students and their families.

By Molly Packer

Zionsville, Ind., junior Cole Chapman knows how to save money. His company, College Cardboard, is being nationally recognized in the College Entrepreneurs Organization spring newsletter. Chapman developed College Cardboard, a company that sells cardboard boxes to students on move-out day for a low price and then delivers them to students’ doors.

Chapman is one of three college students from across the nation to have his business featured in the College Entrepreneurs Organization newsletter.

College Entrepreneurs Organization is an organization that allows student entrepreneurs from around the nation to share their ideas and learn about other’s ideas as well.

Chapman says he got the idea for College Cardboard when he saw boxes being sold at an Exxon station for what he calls “jacked up prices.”

“College students don’t want to pay that much for boxes even if it’s their only option,” Chapman said. “I figured we could sell the boxes for a lower price and deliver them to their door.”

After receiving orders for boxes, Chapman gets his boxes en masse from a distributor and then delivers them.

Over the summer of 2010, Chapman started College Cardboard with the help of Mary Abrahams, the director of the Entrepreneurship Living and Learning Center at Baylor.

Chapman presented his ideas to Abrahams and she provided feedback to help him.

Chapman’s hard work paid off when he found out he would be featured in the College Entrepreneurs Organization’s spring newsletter.

“I was extremely thankful and excited for the opportunity,” Chapman said. “It was fun to be chosen out of all the businesses submitted nationwide.”

Abrahams said Chapman’s creativity and follow-through make him a good entrepreneur.

“He’s very creative when it comes to marketing. He’s creative all the way around,” Abrahams said.

Chapman and Abrahams had never worked together until last summer when Chapman sought out the professor’s help in developing his company.

“He’d send me sections of his business plan and I’d read it,” Abrahams said. “We meet together occasionally and he tells me where he is and I give him encouragement and positive feedback and set him up with people that can give him further advice.”

Abrahams said she is proud of the work Chapman has done to put his ideas into action.

“A lot of people walk around and say ‘Oh, it would be great if there were such and such,’ but they never actually go through with it,” Abrahams said. “He’s the kind of person who sees a need and acts on it. That’s what an entrepreneur is.”

College Cardboard will make its debut appearance at Baylor at the end of the school year.

“We’re just starting out this year, just at Baylor for the first year and then going from there,” Chapman said.

Chapman will start marketing his business on campus on April 11.

Along with a cheaper price — UPS sells at $4.60 a box while College Cardboard sells at $3.99 — and front-door delivery, ten percent of the proceeds College Cardboard receives go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.