February 17, 2021
Balancing a full-time position while incubating a start-up company is what Jaymeson Reed ’20 BSBA (Business Management), BA (Spanish Literation) does daily. Not to mention his side gig: trying to make his grandfather’s business idea a reality.
Full of unique ideas, the duo’s company, Diesel Overlander, is a survival vehicle business geared toward giving its customers an escape in the case of a national incident.
Jaymeson Reed ’20 BSBA (Business Management), BA (Spanish Literature)
The “Package” offered by Diesel Overlander includes a 4WD truck and trailer are designed for maximum reliability, combined with an escape plan complete with a secluded hideaway from urban areas for the safety of its clients.
The idea originated with Reed’s grandfather, Dick Goodman, in 1964 and has been an incubation project ever since. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, their target audience has grown dramatically, giving the two an opportunity to re-launch the idea.
The first setback was the lack of a marketing plan, but that’s where Reed entered the picture. Reed is tasked with advertising the business through online means, including website and social media marketing.
“I was so excited to be able to put to work the skills I got from my classes at Eller,” says Reed. “Every day I can see how what I’ve learned from Eller is helping us expand this business.”
The pair haven’t embarked on this start-up journey alone, though. Reed and Goodman began working with Edward Ackerley, adjunct instructor of marketing, communication and film/television and owner of Ackerley Advertising, which is geared toward helping clients promote their business.
Diesel Overlander is due to open for business within a few weeks, with Reed and Goodman planning to analyze the audience interested in this specific product after a month of the release.
“This has been a thrilling opportunity, allowing me to work again with Professor Ackerley and also with my grandfather to make one of his long-term dreams a reality,” says Reed.
Reed is looking forward to continuing to help grow the start-up as well as sharpen his business management skills acquired from Eller.
“I don’t know where this business is going to go, but regardless, it has been an opportunity that is teaching me what I need to know about business, while allowing me to stay closely connected with the Eller community,” says Reed. “Eller and this experience have both taught me that staying committed to what you’re passionate about, no matter how out-of-the-box your idea is, is the ultimate step to success.”