Bringing you the best stories from Columbus business owners, cbuzz is presented by the Columbus Chamber in collaboration with the Columbus Dispatch and CD1025. Our host, local comedian Dan Swartwout, talks with entrepreneurs every other week in Columbus’ first business-focused podcast.
This week, we bring you a bonus podcast featuring our youngest entrepreneur yet. Thirteen-year-old Brooke Yoakam phones in to the GrooveU studio and discusses her current entrepreneurial venture with us called Gift Pocket, now on cbuzz.
As a 13-year-old multi-sport student athlete, Upper Arlington teenager Brooke Yoakam doesn’t have a whole lot of free time. Between juggling soccer and lacrosse practice, school work and free time with friends, the 13-year-old prodigy Yoakam has been in the midst of developing a groundbreaking mobile app called Gift Pocket.
Designed as an app that gives teens the ability to manage gift cards and have gift cards accessible at all times through the use of their smartphones, Gift Pocket is an idea that hopes to revolutionize the shopping industry and make managing piles of gift cards around Christmas time a heck of a lot easier.
â€œI got the idea for Gift Pocket because I go to a lot of birthday parties and all my friends get gift cards,â€ Yoakam said. â€œThey have these huge stacks of gift cards with no place to put them, and I thought there should be a solution for it, so I came up with the idea of Gift Pocket.â€
Developing her business plan while in a young entrepreneurs program in Central Ohio, Yoakam said Gift Pocket is currently in the development and design phase after raising money from several investors.
Winning first place in the entrepreneur program, Yoakam was awarded with $2,000 from investors, and a $500 Sams Club gift card that she hopes to one day manage on her smartphone.
Working with a venture capital firm to further develop Gift Pocket, Brooke Yoakam isn’t your average 13-year-old. The daughter of two entrepreneurs, Yoakam offered great advice for young people looking to create a product of their own.
â€œIf you think you have a really good idea, you just have to believe in yourself,â€ she said. â€œAlong the way, you’re going to get people that love your idea, and people that don’t like your idea, but as long as you believe that it’s a good idea, you should try to go forward with it.â€
Slated for a launch in early 2016, look for Gift Pocket in an app store near you.
July 30, 2015
Dan Swartwout, cbuzz Host; Brooke Yoakam, Founder of Gift Pocket
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