How This Baker Found Success with the C2FO Marketing Team

By: Kathryn Tanner

Sometimes you have to do things you’re not comfortable with in order to grow as a person. When I applied for Young Entrepreneur Program Kansas City (YEP KC) I was determined to use the opportunity to help build my strengths in certain areas. I’m a member of the national honors society, student council treasurer, book club president, on the varsity swim team, and run my own cake company. Having participated in all of these activities I can confidently say that none of them have impacted me as much as YEP KC. I heard about YEP KC from my friend, who said it was the best opportunity he had ever been given the chance to take part in. When I heard about his experience in the YEP KC program I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I had never worked before this internship, and didn’t know what to expect when I got to C2FO, a startup company located in Kansas City, whose main focus is to generate early payments between buyers and suppliers.

Coming into C2FO, I was surprised to be thrown in with a team of people and treated as a real employee. I would go to meetings, and they would walk me through what changes they are trying to implement into their marketing process over time even though I wouldn’t be here by the time those changes start to happen. I felt like I actually added value to the people around me, and that I was doing work that mattered. As part of the marketing department, I’ve learned what marketing looks like from inside a company. Something that interested me was the different types of marketing that a company does and how it differs by audience. My days all look different depending on what project I’m working on. The major project I’ve been working on for the summer has been a series of blog posts. Writing the blogs has taught me how to interview people to draw out interesting information from them to enable me to write a compelling story. I’m glad I was assigned to do this because it’s good practice for my college applications.

This experience has been so beneficial to me. It has given me a chance to see what a real job is like so I can learn what I like and what I don’t like. Most people don’t get internships like this in high school and I’m very appreciative of this opportunity. Before YEP KC, I couldn’t seriously see myself building another company outside of baking, but this experience has opened my eyes. I now feel like I would regret not taking a chance and starting my own business. YEP KC has allowed me to hear from so many successful people.

Something I heard Sandy, CEO of C2FO, say that stuck out to me was to “embrace adversity, it is a catalyst for greatness.”

I know for sure that I want to go to school out of state and experience living somewhere besides Kansas City, but I believe when I’m ready to start my career I’ll return home to Kansas City.

My advice to next year’s YEP KC class: Make yourself known at the company you’re at. Take the opportunity that’s been presented to you to network, and learn as much as you can from the people you’re working with.

When You're as Good as Joe, it Literally Pays to Play Video Games

By: Kathryn Tanner

People often say do what you love and turn that into your career. Joe Hathaway found a way to do just that as a sophomore in high school. He started his own business where people would pay him to play video games for them, so that they could advance to the higher levels and acquire the fun gear. This just goes to show, there’s a market for every business. Joe Hathaway is a 2018 graduate from Rockhurst High School. While in high school he was the entrepreneurship club president, student council treasurer, a member of the lacrosse team, and participated in Most Entrepreneurial Community in America (MECA). When the faculty at Rockhurst saw how much of an interest Joe had in entrepreneurship they decided to create a class for all the entrepreneurial-minded students there.  

He is currently in the 2018 Young Entrepreneur Program Kansas City (YEP KC) class for the summer. Joe was first informed about YEP KC from his calculus teacher, who knew about Joe’s interest in entrepreneurship, and thought that Joe could benefit from the program.

YEP KC partnered Joe with C2FO for the summer. C2FO is a startup company located in Kansas City, whose main focus is to generate early payments between buyers and suppliers. He is working in the sales department on the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) team. He said that at C2FO he felt like an important part of the company, and that he was given real work right from the start. The SRM team also had a new hire starting the same week as Joe. They went through the same training, and were both making calls to potential clients by the end of his first week. He feels honored that as an intern he was given the same work as someone that would be working for the company full time. As a part of SRM, Joe learned how to do sales, and work with other members on his team to break down a big task.

Joe is extremely grateful for the opportunity YEP KC has given him. Through his internship at C2FO Joe has learned things that will stay with him throughout his life. The most important thing that stuck with him was a saying he heard someone from the sales team say:

“build your brand, and build your network because no matter what career field you go into, those two things will always be important”.

Getting to see how all of the different departments in company work together to run the company was new to Joe. He’s thankful for the warm welcome and mentorship he received from his fellow colleagues. He believes that the relaxed work environment helps contribute to the high work ethic of the C2FO employees. He felt a sense of companionship between him and the other members of the SRM team. Meeting Sandy Kemper, CEO of C2FO, was one of highlights of this YEP experience because he has managed to build multiple successful startup companies, and in ten years Joe says that he could see himself at the head of his own startup company.

Joe’s advice for next year’s YEP KC class: Four weeks goes by quickly, so give 100 percent effort to make every day count.

From Cutting Grass to Earning Cash: What You Need to Know About Gary

By: Kathryn Tanner

Gary Davisson was born to be an entrepreneur. Like most kids, he did odd jobs during the summer, but unlike most kids, he managed to turn his lawn care business into a company generating $100,000 in revenue. In efforts to continue to learn and grow his entrepreneurial skills, he applied to the Young Entrepreneur Program Kansas City (YEP KC) program. He heard about YEP KC his junior year through a friend that had been accepted into the program. Although it was too late for him to apply for the 2017 session, Gary was determined to be a part of the 2018 session.

During his first month in the YEP KC program, Gary interned at C2FO. C2FO is a startup company located in Kansas City, whose main focus is to generate early payments between buyers and suppliers. At C2FO, Gary had the opportunity to intern with two departments: Market Operations and Supplier Relationship Management. As part of the Market Operations team, he helped analyze customer performance to ensure goals were being met. Gary was glad that he got to intern in the Market Operations department, because it gave him a better understanding of what C2FO does as a company, and how their platform is used by small and large businesses across the world. As a member of the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) team, he conducted research on various companies. From SRM, Gary has learned how to write a sales script and sell a product which he feels will be important for him in the future.

Gary is really happy he participated in the YEP KC program, and is thankful there is a program like it for high school students because nothing similar exists in his high school. His only regret is that he didn’t apply to the program as a junior, because that would have given him more time to further his connections with other YEP KC members during his senior year. He feels honored to have been chosen and given the chance to surround himself with other young entrepreneurs. His favorite part of the YEP KC program was the networking opportunities presented to him.

Interning at C2FO has allowed Gary to find his passion and see what sparks his interest.

It has also given him the opportunity to explore the different areas of a business, allowing him to see how a company operates internally. For the second month of the YEP KC program, Gary plans to expand his sales experience while interning at Swell Spark, another Kansas City-based company that helps teams develop stronger relationships through team building activities.

Gary is appreciative that successful business leaders have dedicated their time to reach out to young people and teach them in a hands-on environment. He has used this internship as an opportunity to ask these professionals about life and work advice. Gary feels that by learning from them he will have a better understanding of what he needs to do to create a successful company, which is something he hopes to do in his career. In the nearest future, Gary plans to begin his business degree at The University of Missouri - Columbia.

Gary’s advice to next year’s YEP KC class: Ask questions, stay curious, and go to every event you’re invited to.

How This Slam Poet Found His Rhythm on the C2FO Product Team

By: Kathryn Tanner

Joe Porter is a caring philanthropist, a decorated slam poet, and a 2018 Young Entrepreneur Program Kansas City (YEP KC) intern. In high school Joe liked to write slam poetry, a form of spoken word poetry without a standard rhyme, the point of which is to tell a story. This led to him creating a slam poetry club at his high school. When the mental health coalition was trying to bring awareness about mental health to his school he was the first to step up and became the schools’ ambassador. As the ambassador, he met with the leaders from the mental health coalition to talk about ways to advertise their program to teenagers, and gave presentations to his school about the importance of mental health. When Joe’s teacher told him about YEP KC, Joe instantly knew this would be a good opportunity for him. YEP KC paired Joe with C2FO, a startup company located in Kansas City, whose main focus is to generate early payments between buyers and suppliers.

Joe previously interned at Dimensional Innovations (DI) an engineering and design firm founded in Kansas City. He interned in the engineering department and while there, he worked on online designs, although the work he did at DI was different from what he’s doing at C2FO he says both companies have the same atmosphere and encourage collaboration and transparency throughout the departments. Since interning at C2FO Joe has learned a lot about finances. Joe works in the product department. Joe’s day begins with him shadowing members in the product department as they make calls, and sitting in on meetings. After lunch Joe works on his own research project. In his final week at C2FO Joe will present the research from his project to the VP of product. The hands-on experience, and networking opportunities were the most valuable parts of interning at C2FO. Joe has made it his mission to learn the next software C2FO is bringing in to the company even though he will only be here for four weeks.

He sees everything here as an educational opportunity, and wants to learn as much as he can before he leaves.

When Joe applied for the YEP KC program he didn’t know what to expect. He had never taken any business classes in high school, and didn’t know anything about finance. Before his first day at C2FO, Joe thought he was going to be working in the software engineering department, but he was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case. Instead he would be in the product department. Although Joe was placed somewhere new to him, he feels that the experience has helped him develop a new set of skills. Joe thinks that the networking was the most valuable part of the YEP KC program.

Instead of going to college in the fall Joe will be spending the next ten months in Israel. While in Israel, the majority of his time will be devoted to volunteering and an internship Joe received because of the connections he’s made through YEP KC. After Israel, he will attend Lehigh University in Pennsylvania to study mechanical engineering. The most important thing that Joe has learned at C2FO is that creativity can get you anywhere. From YEP KC Joe has been given a chance to see what happens behind the scenes at a startup company.

Joe’s advice for next year’s group of YEP KC students: Take every opportunity to network because you never know what connection is going to come in handy in the future.