Julian Cavin, great receiver of the football team and junior at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, is not limited to the football field.
He has raised over $ 200,000 for his business, Low Fuel, an app-based delivery service that brings gasoline to customers and their vehicles anytime, anywhere in the Twin Cities. Cavin plans to expand his business to other major cities over the next year.
What gave you the idea to start your business?
In high school, many of my friends came from single parent families and I wanted to do my part to help them. I pick them up and take them to school every morning. To do this, however, I had to go get gas first, so I wasn’t always able to finish my breakfast or homework.
Whenever I made breakfast I wished there was a way for someone to bring me gas so I could eat and my car was ready to go when I was ready. I also hated having gasoline in the winter, freezing while I waited to finish refueling.
I had a high school entrepreneurship course at Maranatha Christian Academy in Brooklyn Park, where at the end of the year we had a “Shark Tank” type competition; I presented the idea of Low Fuel and won. I was then entered into a pool for a contest at a college in Twin Cities, although I didn’t end up winning.
How has your time in St. Thomas impacted the way you run and view your business?
After reaching the semifinals for a scholarship with my idea for Low Fuel, Twin Cities entrepreneur Bobby Mason reached out to me and encouraged me to pursue my idea. When the pandemic started, I saw how a delivery service could have a market, and I thought how great it would be if there was a way that we could get gasoline to essential workers so that ‘they don’t have to. worry about it.
On top of that, with the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed, people – my friends included – wanted to limit the time they spent outdoors. Soon my friends started asking me to bring them gasoline, which I gladly did. The delivery market had grown to include more than just food.
Do you have a delivery that sets you apart?
I was able to deliver gasoline to DeVentri Jordan, CEO of GameFace Training and mentor. Then he texted me saying that what I had done was the best part of his day because I had been able to save him a lot of time.
What are you doing to advertise your business?
The fact that I’m a student in St. Thomas who owns my own business and plays soccer here really impresses a lot of people. They love the fact that I am serious about my business. Human connection really helps us because instead of giving money to a millionaire, they can give it to our business to help us grow.
How do you balance schoolwork, sports and running your business?
It’s really difficult. In my freshman year, I was part of the soccer and track program here in addition to all of my school and business work. In some ways it was easier then because I didn’t have as much to do at the business level since I was just starting out.
In my sophomore year things got tricky – I was fundraising for my business and was a rookie catcher on the football team, so I had to take some time to focus more on football. Fund raising. Organization is the main part, however; it was helpful to be able to observe how my dad worked and follow his example. I also know it’s the kind of life I’ve always wanted to make. This is what I asked God, so if I am not able to handle it now, I will not be able to do it later. To have the opportunity to find out now is amazing, to be able to get advice from the faculty, my mentors and those around me. It’s about being mentally strong, and organization plays a big part in that.
Who are the people who have had a big impact on you and your business?
I have been able to have a lot of mentors for all aspects of my life. There’s sales and leadership coach Jim Gapp, who’s one of the smartest guys I know; it helps me a lot with my physical and mental shape. Bryce Ferrell, president of 10th Floor Properties, who gave me my first glimpse of what running a large business is like by bringing me into his office when I was in high school. The founder and CEO of Life Time Fitness Bahram Akradi, who has just provided me with a great amount of knowledge about the business world which has allowed me to learn from his success.
Finally, my dad, being able to see his work ethic, allowing me to see what hard work can bring you and how you will be rewarded for your work. He brought me up with things all around me; it influenced me so much that upon graduation from kindergarten I said I wanted to be a businessman when I grew up.
How has your business evolved since you founded it?
He has grown a lot; raising $ 200,000 allowed me to hire two employees who deliver gasoline to customers, allowing me to focus more on growing the business.
I was also able to hire two people to focus on Marketing Low Fuel so that we can continue to grow. As a result of this growth, we have been able to work with large companies like Xcel Energy, giving Low Fuel the opportunity to expand outside of Minnesota and into other states. We have also recently started offering Low Fuel services to boats.
Have you noticed an impact on Low Fuel from the COVID-19 pandemic?
There has been an increase in use. Everything about delivery services became incredibly popular at the time. It also showed me that my business has potential. This has allowed us to gain customers and continue the growth that we have experienced.
Where do you see Low Fuel going in the future?
The thing about Low Fuel is that it’s really adaptable; with the rise of electric vehicles, we are working with Xcel Energy to obtain high power chargers for electric vehicles. Thus, Low Fuel will be able to offer a mobile charging service… there aren’t many charging stations yet, especially here in Minnesota. It will also allow us to expand to other cities like Seattle, where there are a lot of electric vehicles. We also work with companies that have fleets of cars, so instead of their employees having to go out and fill the fleet, we’ll do it for them. We are also working to reach an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to make a deal to fill their fleets with vehicles. Finally, we are working on a partnership with a Fortune 500 company, which will help us expand into Minnesota and other states such as Texas and New York.