[dropcap sid=”dropcap-1430937092″]W[/dropcap]hen asked whether there was an aspect of his Baruch education that was particularly helpful, Jesse Potash (’09) says it was “the College’s focus on a real-world education, which allowed me to realize early on the type of life and career I wanted.” The former finance major is the co-founder of Trunkster, the world’s first rolltop luggage featuring zipperless, sliding-door entry for faster access, USB charging with a removable battery, a built-in scale, and a GPS.
For Potash, frustration was, in part, the mother of invention. “My partner and I had both been living out of our suitcases for the past several years, working and traveling aboard. We were frustrated by the lack of options in the luggage market,” he recalls. “So we decided to redesign the traditional suitcase to match our on-the-go lifestyles, prioritizing accessibility and eliminating zippers. We then added some select innovative features that would enhance our travels.” The smart luggage has already received positive media attention from the likes of the New York Times. Funded through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, Trunkster plans to release a carryon and suitcase in late summer 2015.
“Obsessive-compulsive organization and attention to detail” is how Potash describes himself. The resilient entrepreneur, who worked for JPMorgan Chase and founded a couple of other ventures before co-founding Trunkster, says that his confidence lies “in retrospect in my failures.” His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? “Head down and keep going.”
BCAM Q&A: STRAIGHT TALK for ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS
What adjective(s) do you use to describe entrepreneurs?
JP: Hyperactive, optimistic, resilient.
What inspired you to start/found your business?
JP: My partner and I had both been living out of our suitcases for several years, working and traveling abroad. We were frustrated by the lack of options in the luggage market, so we decided to redesign the traditional suitcase to match our on-the-go lifestyles, prioritizing accessibility and eliminating zippers. We then added some select innovative features that we felt would enhance our travels.
What skill(s) do you have naturally that help you as a small-business person?
JP: Obsessive-compulsive organization and attention to detail.
Entrepreneurs have to have confidence. Where did you find yours?
JP: In my failures, in retrospect.
Was there any aspect of your Baruch education that was particularly helpful to you in your business?
JP: Baruch’s focus on a real-world education allowed me to realize early on the type of life and career I wanted to pursue and gave me the resources to do so.
What do you like/love about being an entrepreneur?
JP: The freedom.
What’s your biggest challenge?
JP: Learning the inner workings of an entire industry through Google.
What keeps your customers coming back?
JP: Attentive customer support and an innovative product that excites travelers.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
JP: Head down and keep going.
**Alumni Travelers Note**
Jesse Potash would like to offer a discount code to magazine readers of 10% off. Order online at trunkster.co and use the code ZICK.