Everette SlocumBack to Excellence
As a freshman, graphic communication systems student Everette Slocum lived with two seniors and a sophomore.
“Our room was the party room,” he said. “I was looking at them have all these parties and texting each other to find out ‘what’s the next move’ and I thought, ‘what if I created a website for them to find out about this stuff’?”
That is how the website, Aggiesland, was born. Once he built the website, he shared it to the class groups on the social media site, Facebook and it caught on.
“People started signing up to get updates. As I received events, I would post them,” he said.
What first began as a posting about off-campus events and parties, or kickbacks as he put it, evolved to incorporate campus events and chat features so that people could connect. Soon after, he met his business partners Neegbeah Reeves, then-a computer science student, and brothers Keenan and Kendrick Smith, then-liberal arts and sports science students, respectively.
“When I met Neegbeah, he said he could turn Aggiesland into an app. Through the entire process, he was learning as he was building it,” Slocum said. “We finally got a version done – it wasn’t the best looking thing but it was functional. People were really attracted to it.”
Given its popularity, Slocum and his friends opted to shut down the website and focus all of their energy on the app. Subscriptions are up to about 3,000 and subscribers can now post their own events.
Now a junior, and thanks to the success of Aggiesland, the Miami, Florida-native and his business partners have expanded. Together, they established Brown Box Works with the tagline, “We create awesome.” The awesome they create is due largely in part to North Carolina A&T State University. Slocum credits the university as a co-collaborator. Not only did the friends meet on campus, they received help from campus as well.
“We had great help from Dr. Thaddeus McEwen who helped plug us into the on-campus entrepreneurial scene and Wayne Szafranski helped us get office space at HQ Greensboro,” Slocum said.
The group is currently working on multiple app ideas including projects for Advance Carolina and for Vanessa Blake Cosmetics. There is also progress on an app called “Shorti” that allows users to post and comment on short stories; and a dating app of sorts called “Nakd,” pronounced “naked.”
“It is geared toward ending the superficial way we connect with new friends,” he said. “The idea is to have a connection based on interests. We want to allow people to communicate via chat for 24 hours prior to seeing people’s profiles. Then, you get the option to friend them, pursue them or drop them.”
Moving forward, Slocum and his teammates are looking to surround themselves with individuals who know more than they do. That is why they have brought in a student from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to help with marketing and branding.
“It is similar to how Steve Jobs and Henry Ford built their businesses,” he said. “A lot of people tend to not want to share their ideas. For us, it’s like we want to tell as many people as we possibly can. It is about execution. If you don’t execute, it means nothing.”