Snapshot: Following A Drexel Alumnus’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Entrepreneurship has taken Skyler Logsdon from one side of the United States to the other, and then some. Since graduating from Drexel in 2014, Logsdon has dove headfirst into a variety of different startups, elevating each business to the next level along the way. We sat down with Logsdon following a recent lunch and learn at Drexel and asked him questions about his time with the university, the work he’s done since graduating, and tips he has to help young entrepreneurs find success the way he has.

Drexel, Baiada, and launching a career in entrepreneurship

As a student at Drexel, Logsdon founded an app by the name of MyKlipsPics. The idea behind the app was to give users an easy way to communicate a great haircut to their barber, by hosting a database of haircuts and stylists. This idea was a first step, but its true value came from the connections it helped him form on the Silicon Valley Immersion Trip.

“My professional story got started with the trip to Silicon Valley. On that trip, we went to an event where Phillip Inghelbrecht, founder of Shazam, spoke. I sat in line to talk to him, and quickly told him about MyKlips. His feedback was positive, and once I got back to Philadelphia, I started emailing him.”

Logdson made it a point to really hound the founder for a response. He knew Philip had successfully built Shazam into a household name from nothing, and that he would learn tons about entrepreneurship from him, so he stayed persistent. After enough back and forth, Logsdon was able to form a mentor-like relationship with the founder, which has helped him all throughout his career. 

This connection Logsdon made helped him meet a variety of different startup founders, and eventually helped him land his first startup job. Logsdon moved out to San Francisco, where he became the first sales hire at ZIRX, a startup specializing in on-demand valet parking. He was the ninth employee at the company.

After ZIRX was acquired, Logsdon began exploring opportunities for what’s next. Working at an early startup like ZIRX, which had raised over $30 million in tier 1 venture funding in just a few years was great, but he was ambitious. Logsdon wanted to take on even more risk while he was young, and build something that really was his from the ground up. His opportunity came when Phillip met with him for lunch, and looped him in on an idea he was toying with.

Philip was looking to stay in the world of San Francisco startups, and had the idea to enter the advertising industry by turning TV advertising into a unique, digital experience for modern day marketers. Although Logsdon didn’t know anything about advertising, he knew he wanted to build something with Phillip, and saw that they could shake up an archaic industry with this idea. 

He took the chance, and joined Phillip to build the startup, which at the time was unnamed, with no employees, no corporation, and no payroll. The idea he joined would eventually evolve into Tatari.

“We went unpaid for about a year. I moved back home with my mom, and she’s like, “What are you doing? You had a great job out of school, you were crushing it!” I just remember explaining that Phillip had told me that the best time to take risks was when you were young with minimal responsibilities. No risk, no reward.”

The risk paid off. After landing their first clients, Tatari exploded in popularity. The company, clientele, and number of employees grew quickly and exponentially.

“You blink, and you start hiring, and you’re at 30 people, and then you’re at 60 people, and then you’re at 90 people, and then you’re at 140, and then 200, and then 250!”

After seeing the success of Tatari, though, Logsdon was still eager to keep taking risks and disrupt archaic industries. This led him to take another chance and start another company, Boomerang, with Phillip and his other best friend, Augustine. Boomerang is a technology platform that reconnects people with lost items, and has been growing rapidly since its inception. Logsdon and the rest of the Boomerang team have big plans for the company, and expect to see it continue to grow in the future.

Being an entrepreneur is synonymous with taking risk

One of the points Logsdon continuously touches upon is risk, and how it relates to being an entrepreneur. For him, risk is directly intertwined with being a successful entrepreneur.

“If you choose entrepreneurship as a major, you have a type for risk. You’re willing to bet on yourself, even without a very clear-cut path.”

When it comes to breaking into the industry of startups, Logsdon didn’t use shortcuts. He utilized the opportunities he was presented not only professionally, but directly through Drexel and Baiada to position himself to be successful after university.

“There’s nothing special I did, I just networked really well and worked really hard. You can do it too. If you have an opportunity, hit it out of the park! If you do that, people will want to work with you again and again.”

There’s Boomerang’s day, and then Skyler’s day

For Logsdon, one of the most valuable aspects of avoiding burnout as an entrepreneur or founder is striking the ideal work-life balance. By having a positive work-life balance, and giving it tons of value, he’s been able to continuously work hard as an entrepreneur for the last 10 years.

“There’s Boomerang’s day, and then there’s my day. I can grapple all day with my company, and whether it was a good or bad day at the office when I close that computer, I try to make sure I’m not taking my work into the other aspects of my life, such as friends, family, exercising, or coaching youth sports. They are completely departmentalized.”

Entrepreneurs work hard, and can easily work around the clock, but making this distinction is important. Burnout will stop your ideas in their tracks, no matter how good they may be.

Drexel University and the value of networking

Logsdon was able to talk directly with students at the recent lunch and learn, but he reiterated the value that he got from his time at Drexel, talking about how he was able to connect with amazing mentors and other students who helped push him to reach his dreams. 

“There’s so much value added to university years outside the curriculum, mainly the access to people.”

This access to people and resources indirectly led to Logsdon finding his success. By exposing himself to mentors, students and the other resources offered through Drexel, Logsdon was able to build his dreams into a reality. His final advice to students: use the resources you have, and network as much as you can. You never know what might come from these relationships.

“If you’re really focused on networking, you can find your whole team, your co-founding team, right on campus. What’s the price of that?”

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