Dylan Horowitz, a Psychology major with a minor in Political Science at Chapman University, is set to graduate in 2025. His journey at Chapman has been a thrilling adventure of self-discovery, navigating the challenges of being on the golf team, excelling in academics, and managing work responsibilities. Initially drawn to Chapman for its golf team and proximity to home, Dylan started his academic journey at the Argyros College of Business. However, influenced by his father, a business partner and mentor, Dylan shifted his focus to psychology to broaden his knowledge beyond business.
Campus Involvement: The Key to Comfort and Confidence
As the captain of the men’s golf team and a board member of Chabad on campus, Dylan credits his involvement in these communities for providing crucial support. “The support from both communities has allowed me to feel comfortable and confident among my friends and teammates,” he shares.
Among the influential figures at Chapman, Dylan acknowledges his golf coach, Coach Ming Lao, for his unwavering support. Standout professors include Professor Lacy Willis for accounting and Professor Dana for sports psychology.
From Idea to Business: Dylan’s Venture
Dylan’s entrepreneurial journey began during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when he devised the original idea for his product. The journey involved numerous prototypes, research on the industry, patents, and trademarks. The final product, officially launched in September, reflects a culmination of hard work and dedication. “As the co-founder and creator, my responsibilities span social media management, research, and development for all products in collaboration with engineers, customer service, working the trade shows, and sales to retailers and e-tailers. Officially,” he says, “I am Vice President of Marketing and Research and Development.”
The early stages of Dylan’s business faced challenges in research and development on a budget, emphasizing the importance of understanding the cost implications of product modifications. Overcoming these challenges involved assembling a team specializing in sourcing to optimize costs and materials.
Strategies for Success: Embracing Team Dynamics & Taking Risks
Dylan emphasizes the importance of recognizing individual strengths within the team. “I am learning what I do well in the business and allowing others who specialize in their jobs the creative freedom to work,” he shares. The dynamic partnership with his father, with complementary skills, has been a key element of their success.
One significant risk Dylan undertook was applying for trademarks and patents internationally. The uncertainty of approval and the substantial financial investment were daunting, but the decision was crucial to protect their intellectual property.
Dylan’s entrepreneurial journey has been a constant learning process. Lessons in due diligence, business planning, supply chain management, and effective communication have shaped his approach. He advises aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace critiques, listen to experts, and focus on selling with good margins and protection.
A Lifestyle, Not a 9-to-5: Advice for Future Entrepreneurs
Dylan’s advice for students and recent graduates aspiring to take an entrepreneurial path is rooted in the reality that entrepreneurship is a lifestyle. “People will wonder why you are always on your phone at parties, hangouts, and walking out of class to take calls. Entrepreneurship is not a 9 to 5. It is a lifestyle, and there is no balance in the beginning. You need a support system and build a team specializing in its areas,” says Horowitz.