Past IdeaBlob Winner Tackles a New “Virtual” Challenge
Tom Krieglstein considers himself a lifelong explorer who lives to create. As a result of this creativity, Krieglstein is a past winner at Ideablob.com, a vibrant and active community where small business owners and entrepreneurs share business ideas in exchange for feedback, advice, and votes from the community. Advanta, one of the nation’s largest credit card issuers (through Advanta Bank Corp.) in the small business market, awarded Krieglstein $10,000 for his idea, as determined by the votes of the ideablob community.
Swift Kick is the second company Krieglstein started as an entrepreneur. Krieglstein’s first company was a home-based online retail store that sold drop shipped electronic items on eBay and Amazon. At its peak, he was selling $1.5 million dollars in annual sales.
The freedom of a home-based internet business allowed Krieglstein to travel for eight months around Europe and Asia with his fiancée while keeping the business running from my laptop.
In 2004, Krieglstein co-founded his second business, Swift Kick, with the goal of increasing student engagement in education. Krieglstein’s company uses both training and technology for colleges to accomplish its mission. The company’s latest project is Red Rover, a free online student orientation tool that integrates with Facebook. For Krieglstein, Swift Kick represents a chance to leave a lasting positive impact on the world through improving the educational system.
Krieglstein’s company currently has 3 employees and 5 contractors that all work from various homes. The company doesn’t have a central office, and is truly a virtual company as almost all its work is done and organized online. Expansion is the company’s main focus right now. It currently works with only colleges, and within the next three years, the plans are to expand to high schools and junior high schools.
All entrepreneurs face the daunting statistics that up to 9 out of 10 businesses fail. So having built two successful home-based businesses is Krieglstein’s biggest business achievement. “I love working from home and the flexibility it allows,” says Krieglstein. “Often times I step away from my computer to go for a nice long walk with my fiancée, or extend my lunch an extra 30 minutes to take a much needed mid-day nap. I couldn’t image another way to live my life.” HBM