Collin Caneva: From dump truck owner to tech entrepreneur
When Collin Caneva, president of Green Bein' Productions, first shared his idea for an online children's video game, the general reaction he received was one of discouragement. "Collin, you're nuts. You know concrete [...] get back to concrete."
At the time, he was running a construction business that he had built up after purchasing a dump truck while attending the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The business, however, began to loose appeal to him. Externally things were going well, but internally he wanted a change of pace.
Thanks to a conversation he had with his kids in which they were begging for stuffed animals that had an associated website, he quickly made up his mind. The product frustrated Collin so much that he began to brainstorm with his kids how they could create a better product. What he came up with is today's Kid Command game by Green Bein' Productions.
"What we're doing with children's gaming is complete opposite of what the world is doing [...] it turns out, we're doing exactly what the world needs." Caneva told the audience at the recent Lincoln Young Professionals Group Startup Lessons event.
To hear Collin's full story, check out the video of his talk below, recorded by Nebraska Entrepreneur.
Also, here are a few of the recent posts on NebraskaEntrepreneur.com that may be of interest:
- Remote Entrepreneurship Providing Startups With Unparalleled Flexibility
- Grand Island Marketing Firm Shares Networking Know-how
- High School Students Learn Real World Skills in Entrepreneurship Focus Program
Here's an outline of Collin's talk:
- His story is about the ability to change
- Attended UNL in 1994 after stopping on a drive across the country after getting out of the military
- He's always been an entrepreneur
- In college, he used student loans to buy a dump truck – "To go to class I just parked the dump truck out in front of the building I was going to class in [and turn on] the flashers."
- One day, while walking into class, he felt a pull of more opportunity with the dump truck so he turned around and went to work instead of class
- Construction business was a success externally but he felt it wasn't a success internally
- His idea for Kid Command, an online game for kids to explore and learn about our world and environment, came after he became frustrated with the stuffed animals his kids were wanting him to buy
- Basic response he got when he told others of his idea: "Collin, you're nuts. You know concrete [...] get back to concrete"
- The hardest part is starting, but Collin looked to his personal network to fill the skills that he did not possess but knew he needed to launch the game
- "What we're doing with children's gaming is complete opposite of what the world is doing [...] it turns out, we're doing exactly what the world needs."
- Collin shared a story about his experience in construction – expecting a $112,000 check, he received a $12,000 check
- "You have a decision everyday: you can wait till tomorrow or you can get going on it right now."
- At 21:00, Collin takes audience Q&A:
- Why he started Kid Command
- The business model of Kid Command
- The background of Kid Command – from the early stages to looking for funding