Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So What Are You Guys Doing Now??

Graduation was in May and since then the question of "what's next for the Rollins?" has perplexed us and others. We've determined another 6 month plan, which seem to work best for us, and it all happened a little like this...

Ben abandoned finding a traditional job in February due to the worst economy since the great depression, a lack of interest in big corporations, and most of all the entrepreneurship bug that has got the best of him in the past and has now bit him again with a new Cornell technology. This is Ben's latest corporation and he's partnered with a Cornell PhD candidate who is working furiously in the labs on a medical device - Ben calls it a "Super" Band Aid for the eye, Star Wars type stuff. While we were in Mexico Ben spent many hours writing up a business plan to submit to several business plan competitions. When we got back to the states they won 1st place at Cornell's competition, and took 8th of 340 applicants in the biggest competition in the nation, Rice. They expect to go back to Rice this spring and take the grand prize of $100k cash, plus prizes. They have also been selected as a finalist in the Purdue competition, which is held this coming November with a prize pot of $30k. Here are a few links about the company.

CNN Forbes

Johnson School
And so, what does this mean for our family life? Well although the National Eye Institute has awarded nearly a million dollars in government grants to continue research, it doesn't pay a salary to Ben or Brian (his partner). The business has a bank account but its been used to pay for paperclips, printer ink, and business travel to Boston, Omaha, and Ithaca. This means we will stretch our left-over savings/student loans as far as it can stretch (I'm talking serious stretching like I've never stretched before) while living in the Rollins' basement at least through Christmas. Yes, I will be bringing our new baby home to our parents house - at least there is a sweet theater room, basement kitchen, and a yard large enough for Croquet.

While Brian continues working in the labs in NYC, Ben works in my parents basement writing grants, talking to the FDA, and other stuff. We (our parents included) all hope that come January we'll be able to pull some salary and finally begin to live like a real grown-up American family in a space of our own.

So there it is. Wish us luck!

9 comments:

Melody said...

Sounds exciting! Maybe a little scary starting up a business... but GOOD LUCK!

Jody said...

So good to hear from you. So frustrating that things are still up in the air. We would love to meet up with you guys when we're in town. I'll let you know what day would be best for us and hopefully it works for you guys to. How are you feeling? I can't wait to see your little belly! Talk to you soon!

robin said...

well, i'm glad you know where you'll be for the next little while, but i'm MAD it's not in ithaca!

good luck with everything...

caroline said...

it must be a little scary, but GOOD LUCK and GREAT JOB in being so brave and following your dreams!! i'm so proud of all of you and send you all my best wishes!!

Kristi said...

GOOD LUCK!!! It all sounds very exciting.... taking risks is where success is often found. Ben really is an entrepreneur at heart! You are a GREAT support! :)

gabeandstef said...

I didnt know you guys were back in UT :) Give us a call we will have to do dinner or something. And good luck on the new business adventure I hope all goes well.

Anna said...

Congratulations! We read about Bombyx in the Johnson School magazine and were so happy for you. Best wishes!

Heather Ashby said...

Wow Niki! That's amazing. Good luck to you guys!

Sarah said...

Christian told me about that! So cool!!! Apparently Christian had read about it on all of his nerdy science blogs and had no idea Ben was involved. When he found out he was he was so excited. I am sure this will turn out to be amazing for you guys. We have always known great things are in store :) Good luck with everything!!

Also, will you send me your address in Utah so I can finally send you your winnings? :)