“Today, I closed on my first investment for $50,000 for 5 percent of my company, by 2 p.m., I realized I forgot to eat lunch,” said Grant Kellogg.
A typical day for Kellogg consists of early morning surfing and yoga, goal setting, pitching to investors, meetings with public relation strategy teams, attorneys and marketing firms.
After discovering his entrepreneurship passion and the design process in the app development industry, Kellogg decided to drop out of college to pursue his dream full time, becoming an addition to the 54 percent of millenials that plan to start their own business this year according to Entrepreneur magazine.
“If I would have listened to the first person that told me I was crazy for dropping out of school and starting my own business before I could legally drink at a bar, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Kellogg.
Grant Kellogg is not your average 20-year-old. Born and raised in Minnesota, Kellogg decided to move to California to pursue a degree in business at California Lutheran University.
Kellogg explained why he chose to move thousands of miles from home, “I wanted to see what the world had to offer, I realized I never wanted to be that person who said, ‘I wish I would have.’ I grew up in a small town and five years later I am living in one of the biggest cities in the world.”
Growing up, Kellogg moved around a lot, and basketball was the one consistent aspect of his life.
“I had to learn how to make new friends and teammates almost every year from age 16–20, this helped me develop myself into being personable and learn how to stand out in a crowd rather than fit it,” said Kellogg.
Kellogg is in the process of developing a new rideshare app called SeatSurf. A rideshare program allows commuters to share rides to any given location.
“I was traveling with a friend from Arizona to Palm Springs after an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) concert with just a half tank of gas,” said Kellogg. “What we didn’t realize at the time was that the drive was 300 miles through the desert with no civilization, phone service, or gas stations.”
Kellogg and his friend were about 100 miles into the trip when the gaslight came on.
“Just keep driving,” said Kellogg. “I have always had some sort of intuition, something told me to keep moving forward. With eight miles left to the car’s name we came across a ratty old trailer and a human named Marty.”
Kellogg and his friend gave Marty all they had in exchange for gas. “We were two 20-year-olds on spring break, what did you expect me to have? I had a case of Coors Light, a loaf of bread, five Monster energy drinks and $20. Marty was down for the trade.” Kellogg said this turn of events one of many instances that sparked him into creating the rideshare app SeatSurf.
Kellogg said he wanted to create something that would reduce the chance of this situation ever happening to someone else, so he created SeatSurf, a long distance rideshare app that connects drivers to people in need of a ride.
“SeatSurf will allow people to travel the country for cheap, many people don’t own cars or they don’t want the responsibility of driving to a music festival or a weekend getaway. It also works for people who like to drive and make frequent road trips and want to fill their open seats to make extra cash,” said Kellogg.
Kellogg said the opportunities are endless with SeatSurf.
Users can sign into SeatSurf via Facebook or Twitter. Users log their credit card information into their account, which allows safe transactions between drivers and passengers. Users can create a bio, adding their name, birthdate, location, education, interests and even link their social media accounts. Users are able to use their location to find drivers and passengers that are looking for transportation to specific locations.
Kellogg originally pitched his idea to his business professor who was so impressed with his plan that she funded him for a weekend workshop created by Google called Start Up Weekend. Start Up weekend allows entrepreneurs to form their ideas into a reality by building a network of people and creating a mock trial website to pitch to investors and judges in a period of just 54 hours.
Kellogg’s idea won. Allowing his initial idea to become a constructed reality. He was awarded his private office for six months and mentor hours with successful businessmen, investors and attorneys.
Kellogg said the decision to drop out of college was easy for him; “My life changed completely, my priorities shifted from business homework to an actual real life business opportunity. I had to drop out of school to pursue my passion,” he said.
“Working with Grant is inspirational. Grant and I have traveled across the West together. During our adventures, we grow and are enlightened to a new understanding about people and life,” said Rob Kyler, chief financial officer of SeatSurf.
Kellogg said he sometimes faces hostility from friends, “When I tell people I dropped out of college they all give me the same reaction. Like ‘this kid is going downhill’ or ‘too many drugs’,” said Kellogg. “I just put those reactions aside and stay focused on my goals to prove these fools wrong. If they ask me about my story I’m more than happy to tell them and usually they change their reaction.”
Kellogg’s mother and father dropped out of college themselves. After Kellogg’s father moved to California, he won the popular game show The Price is Right and jumpstarted a business in Rochester, Minnesota.
“My parents have always supported me, my dad dropped out his first year at St. Cloud State University and moved to California to pursue entrepreneurship,” Kellogg said. “Sound familiar?”
SeatSurf will launch in December, and Kellogg has high hopes for the future. Five years down the road, Kellogg sees himself as a successful entrepreneur and a CEO, even possibly selling other companies in the process.
“If I am neither of those, I bet you I will be trying all over again. With the right execution and partnerships, I think all will be straight,” said Kellogg.
Kellogg offered advice to young entrepreneurs like himself, “Seize the opportunity. Go for it. Take a risk; take a chance on yourself. You have nothing to lose because in the end, failure is just as valuable as success. You are the only person that knows what you are capable of accomplishing.”