Andrew Kozlovski, 22
Brainz Power in University Park is a biohacking company that developed a nootropic, supplements combined in a Food and Drug Administration-approved laboratory that aim to support cognitive brain functions such as mental clarity, memory and focus.
Financials: Monthly revenue between $20,000 and $30,000.
What led you to start this business?
As a freshman in college, I saw widespread abuse of Adderall, an addictive prescription stimulant used to boost short-term thinking for better grades. There wasn’t a single company offering a natural substitute. So, I started my company to give students a safer alternative.
How did you fund it, and how are you funding it going forward?
I contributed $500 to get my first order of 24 bottles, then reinvested all the profits. Within three years, I turned my $500 into over $250,000 in revenue.
Are there advantages/disadvantages to starting a business in your 20s, and if so, what are they?
Only advantages. I am highly educated, having just graduated from USC. I have energy, health and work 18 to 20 hours a day, including weekends. I have little-to-no financial responsibility, such as a house, kids or a family.
Do you have a mentor?
No. I met with every single professor at USC I could, and they helped me gain a lot of insight from their experience in the business world.
Where do you go for advice regarding your business?
I go to my business professors, my parents, other entrepreneurs.
How much time/money do you spend on social media for your business?
Social media was the only way I marketed my product. That’s because students spend hours a day on social media, specifically Instagram. I built my following to over 100,000 on my company page, another 145,000 on my personal page. Building a personal brand has been essential to my success.
Does social responsibility play a role in your business?
Our product is made for students to achieve more out of their studies in a healthy way. So, we have partnered with an organization that builds schools for children in countries that need them, with a portion of every sale to be donated to the cause.
Do you feel that your business is particularly tailored to the Los Angeles market, or do you feel you could have launched it in another location?
L.A. was the perfect place to launch and grow my business. L.A. is even better when you go to school at USC and open yourself up to its network of Trojans. With so much emphasis on social media, it was essential to be here with so many talented photographers, filmmakers, editors, etc., who help me create content daily. I don’t think I could have succeeded anywhere else.
What do you do for fun?
For fun, I actually started making YouTube and Instagram videos on what it is like to run a business while being a full-time student at USC, to inspire and motivate other young people by simply telling my story and explaining what I’ve learned along the way.