Two students have created a company that ensures more entrepreneurs will be able to start up businesses once they graduate Purdue.
The Anvil, co-founded by Chris MacPherson and Mike Asem, is a nonprofit company designed to provide resources for potential entrepreneurs who need a place to gather and express their ideas. Starting in the fall, a building on State Street just past Purdue West will provide such a location.
MacPherson, a student in the Krannert School of Management, already has experience running his own business. He co-founded Kyk Energy Inc., a brand of energy powder that turns any drink into an energy drink, as a sophomore and realized there was a gap between developing business ideas and having a place to carry them out.
“There are entrepreneurs in the different silos of the University, like in engineering and science, and they work on their ideas alone, which is discouraging,” MacPherson said. “From personal experience, having a place where you can come and have other people working next to you might be just what you need.”
Asem, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, is also co-founder of Tebogo LLC., a company that lets students buy and sell textbooks cheaper than normal University rates. He said the only reason he had the opportunity to meet MacPherson was through a meeting held by the University to promote entrepreneurship at Purdue. He thinks that’s proof a central meeting place like the Anvil is essential to foster future business partnerships.
”We knew there were other students out there interested in starting (companies), but we never realized how many there were,” Asem said. “Meeting Chris would have been happenstance otherwise. We want the Anvil to help people network and make those connections.”
Once renovations are complete, anyone will be able to work on their ideas at the office spaces in the facility. It will be open to the public during normal business hours and members of the Anvil will have 24-hour access to the facility and potentially their own office space. While discussing with Purdue faculty the idea of moving the Anvil to its own facility, MacPherson said Gerry McCartney, Purdue’s chief information officer, thought having their own building was an excellent business move.
”I think Gerry McCartney described it quite well,” MacPherson said. “(McCartney) said, ‘It would be great for Purdue to give you this space, but it’s kind of relatable to your grandma. You love her to death, but you don’t want her to plan your prom after-party. It’s not quite what you want.’ So it’s best if we do this ourselves.”