Most traditional college students finish college and then start their careers. Not Bobby Whitman. He already started two businesses—yet he’s only in his second year of college. But then, Bobby Whitman isn’t like most college students. The math and computer science major recognized his talent early on. He took so many advanced placement courses in high school that he already has enough credits to be a junior. He expects to go to graduate school for math, engineering or computer science. If he can find the time.
Right now, his businesses—Vandelay Custom Cards and Dynamit Technologies—consume most of his spare time, though he claims to hang out with friends on weekends. He and a friend at Miami University started the businesses together and pay others as needed. Vandelay makes custom playing cards from 52 pictures the client provides, producing a deck of cards with suits and pictures on the front and a custom design on the back.
But Dynamit is Whitman’s baby right now. The business designs web sites for clients—the Columbus Archdiocese Catholic schools for one—and includes software that allows the clients to edit their own pages. They have 25-35 customers already and are beginning to see a profit.
“We both enjoy the challenge it presents us, and we’ll just keep going and see what happens,” he says.