Marcus Lavergne/Nevada Sagebrush Juniors Matt Starrett and Daryl Abuan pose for a portrait outside the doors of the Mackey Mines building on Saturday, Sept. 12. Starrett and Abuan are co-owners of Sell Your Used iPhones.

Marcus Lavergne/Nevada Sagebrush
Juniors Matt Starrett and Daryl Abuan pose for a portrait outside the doors of the Mackey Mines building on Saturday, Sept. 12. Starrett and Abuan are co-owners of Sell Your Used iPhones.

By Marcus Lavergne

Forbes.com claims that although many business schools have entrepreneurship courses, they are not graduating successful entrepreneurs. The University of Nevada, Reno, which has a college on campus dedicated to producing some of the finest business professionals on a state, national and international level, is a place where these types of techniques are supposed to be taught. If not at school, where, how and when do young entrepreneurs start to build success?

Juniors Matthew Starrett and Daryl Abuan say that it starts early. Their company, Sell Your Used iPhones, is an online platform dedicated to making the process of selling Apple devices much easier that they started with CEO and UNR graduate Eduardo Morales. Starrett, a double major in finance and economics and vice president of SYUI, says that it takes dedication and sacrifice to be a successful entrepreneur.

“We have a lot planned,” Starrett said. “We’re not trying to do it for money; it’s for experience. We’re college students, and now is the time to do this kind of thing.”

By cutting out the middleman, the trio have taken on the load of learning every aspect of owning a business in both the technical and financial areas. When three UNR students are trying to grow their business by means like this, it is difficult to understand how Starrett and Abuan manage to do what they do while studying full-time at a tier-one university.

Starrett says that the team put a lot of time into developing a platform that is built for growth and sustainability. He believes that growth is the most important goal rather than profitability.

Abuan is a chemical engineering major on campus. Engineering is widely known as one of the more strenuous majors on any college campus. A field that involves a heavy mathematics and science curriculum with the business of it all mixed in seems almost overwhelming for one who does not follow that path. Abuan says he and his partners sacrifice sleep in their effort to grow a fruitful business together while also becoming better entrepreneurs.

“Our goal is to expand our entrepreneurship skills,” Abuan said. “It doesn’t matter what age you are; there’s still an ability to come together, maybe as friends or colleagues, and build something special.”

Abuan points out that managing his time is one of the most important skills needed to be successful in their business. He also believes that there is always room for improvement.

“We know that we have to model ourselves off of other great companies in our area,” Abuan said. “We’re always devoted to improving ourselves.”

SYUI is a small business, but the owners have large goals for it and the future. Starrett believes the team has pushed themselves to a far place. Although the road has been challenging for them, he says most people don’t realize the value of their electronics. It’s their job to show people that value.

“Looking back, the learning curve was huge,” Starrett said. “But we have managed to set up what we believe to be a great service!”

The UNR students have decided to continue to grow as entrepreneurs in a field that contains some huge names, but they continue to see the potential for the services they have to offer.

For more information on SYUI, go to www.sellyourusediphones.com.

Marcus Lavergne can be reached at mlavergne@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @mlavergne21.