We interviewed CEO Cory Pinegar about what it’s like being a full-time student and business owner.
Ideally, college education would be the perfect blend of book learning and real life professional experience — a simultaneous combination of enhancing brain function and honing skills in the workplace, maybe topped off with the time-honored tradition of too much fast food.
Unfortunately, this is not what happens, as I can attest — I went to college at UVU and ate a bunch of Taco Bell, then got a job writing for Beehive Startups/Silicon Slopes years later. Having been wizened by time and experience, I now realize I should have done these things simultaneously to maximize professional growth, while cutting back drastically on the Taco Bell. I’ve learned my lesson too late but for today’s youths, there is still time…
Cory Pinegar, CEO of CallForce and current attendee of Brigham Young University, is smarter than I was as a college-aged lad. He has realized that the most valuable route to growing as an individual is by combining the rigors of institutional learning with workplace experience.
The downside — he’s a full-time student and also full-time overseer at CallForce, tasked with overseeing the needs of a 12-person team. Let’s just say time is at a minimum.
The upside — he’s living a crash-course on being a student *and *becoming an entrepreneur and loving every minute of it.
“I believe students can have great opportunities working for startups such as Domo, Qualtrics, or InsideSales — they meet people and develop their own ideas, then eventually go out and start something on their own,” said Pinegar. “That’s how it happened for me, I worked at Weave and I’m immensely grateful for that opportunity, there’s room to grow and become an entrepreneur within your own sphere of the company.”
As Pinegar alludes to, CallForce descended from Weave. By this I mean that Pinegar was working at Weave when he was approached by Weave’s founders with an opportunity — purchase a division of the business that didn’t match up with Weave’s core model and spin it into a separate company. After a few short days of deliberation, an agreement was reached.
“It was taking a giant leap of faith and realizing this is an opportunity for me to grow as an entrepreneur,” said Pinegar.
CallForce became a company in November 2016, intent upon making waves within the dentist industry — they essentially act as an extension for dental offices, offering a live call center stationed in Orem that calls on behalf of dental offices for overdue patients. As their website states, it’s more of a personal approach to customer retention in a day of increased automation, one that takes over the process of patient recall so the dentist office can concentrate on other areas.
While CallForce is currently focused strictly on the dental industry, they’re also fine tuning a few new products that they hope to roll out in the near future.
“I love this, it’s my passion, I wake up in the middle of the night excited and I can’t go back to bed because I have ideas in my head,” said Pinegar. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Look, I’m not going to sit here and preach to college students that they should become a CEO and eat less Taco Bell while in school — I’ve done neither of those things. Cory Pinegar, however, can vouch for the experience. He’s short on time but making up for it by doing something he enjoys, all while learning entrepreneurial lessons like mad.
Take note, students, take note.
“Whether you’re majoring in finance, economics, or whatever, it’s a completely different experience to go out and feel the pressure of making payroll or dealing with a customer who’s frustrated, it’s just a different learning experience,” said Pinegar. “In the past year what I’ve learned — compared to what I’ve learned in my years of school — is 10x from just being out there and doing it. I meet students all the time who say they want to be an entrepreneur — the only way to really go out there is just do it.”
Subscribe to Silicon Slopes
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox