Creating a program, foundation or business from scratch is a daunting task. Ensuring it continues to run smoothly while benefiting its intended communities is an even larger challenge. The student behind two startups demonstrates the power of social change and innovation from this new generation of leaders.
On Nov. 24, the Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized 23 Atlanta-based innovators under 25, which includes undergraduate and graduate students who have founded or run startups and have brought new products to the market. Goizueta Business school student Jordyn Turner (22B) was featured for her tutoring agency, A+ Academic Services, and her new mobile application, Neos.
“I thought when the editor [of the Atlanta Business Chronicle] reached out to me that it was a joke,” Turner said. “To be honored for it is really special to me.”
Neos, created in 2020, is an app that connects “different people with different talents” by providing a network for young professionals to interact with each other through a centralized social media platform.
As a business administration and sociology double major, Turner felt her academics have elevated the way she runs Neos and A+ Academic Services, propelling her “in so many different ways, as a business owner, student and person.”
“Being a business student has helped me refine my business approach,” Turner said. “My correspondence is a lot stronger; my strategic business moves are a lot [clearer].”
She also explained the importance of sociology in helping her tackle the customer side of her business.
“I never wanted to lose touch with being people-oriented when I’m doing business,” Turner said. “I’m able to respect people and their preferences, not just take this one size fits all.”
Turner admitted that she struggled to find balance between her academics, professional work and personal time during the pandemic and virtual fall semester. She emphasized that being gracious to herself and finding a way to create a reasonable home routine was crucial.
“I think the biggest learning experience during COVID was I don’t have everything figured out,” Turner said. “It humbled me a lot, and I think going forward, I’ll be able to take those lessons and strategize and do something different the next time around.”
Since so many of Turner’s clients also had virtual semesters, there was an influx of students seeking tutoring. Despite the difficulties set by the pandemic, Turner was able to successfully expand A+ Academic Services by hiring more tutors while providing a steady source of income for them. She hopes to expand the business to more students in the spring, which means more tutors will be needed.
Reflecting on the pandemic’s impact on her business, Turner said she capitalized on the present to manifest her goals.
“This year has made me realize how entitled we are to think we have time,” Turner said. “I got into this period of complacency that I was living the same day over and over again … I had this false perception that I had tomorrow. As a CEO, that’s not a mindset you want to be in.”
Turner hopes to launch a beta version of the Neos app in fall 2021, when there will be more students on campus, allowing her to “take advantage of the young and talented people on campus.” She also plans to reach out to investors and programs that could support her initiatives.
“I want to move in the next year with more confidence,” Turner said. “More so, edging my way towards progress; even if it’s one or two things per day.”
Having a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship at such a young age, Turner mentioned that those interested in founding their own startups should take the risk.
“Just start it, and then have grace for yourself during the process,” Turner advised. “It’s very rewarding at the end of the day … offering the world something you built.”