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Meet HBCU Hub CEO: Jonathan Swindell

1. What is a typical day/week like for you? 

A typical day for me includes waking up at 5 am for my morning run, being back by about 6:30 - 7

Then I go over my “must do” task for the day along with viewing analytic progress, ensuring we are on par to meet our 30,60,90

I always end up helping a child in some way. We are a startup, but we have made a little money, and with that, I feel it is our job to help the black community so even if that’s means merely buying a kid a burger, or Gatorade, it matters to me. 

After that I usually have a client to call in regards to our recruitment services,  if not that then going to a demo to showcase our services. 

I talk to all departments of my team on a daily basis. 

I'm the CEO of a growing, so my day has become more and more of making sure the company shares the vision, and we are in the right direction, that talks much collaboration, so I’m always on the phone or looking to optimize our current processes. 

Around late afternoon I’ll take about 15-20 minutes to stand outside and just let my mind relax then that leads to the planning of tomorrow 

Then I usually end the day with writing in my business journal, I write to my unborn kids, whom I won’t have for years now, but I summarize the day and tell them what I learned from it along with how tomorrow can I improve. I hope that years from now when their they are born and start a business they read my journals while laughing at all the mistakes their father had along the way to building an empire. 

2. What is your best memory of college?

Well, I’m currently still in college, I’m a senior, I graduate in December.

My best memory in college would have to be winning 1st place Grambling State University’s idea, that’s actually how we got our initial seed money to fund the company. 

The crazy part is I ended up in the hospital the very next day because I hadn’t slept, the whole right side of my face was paralyzed for months. I was having a stroke at the age of 21 but we won first place, and a higher power made sure my face was healed, so it was just a sacrifice for success. 

3. What advice would you give to someone wanting to create and market a brand from scratch?

The advice I would give them is to do it, go all out for it, find people that are smarter than you and just hit the ground running. 

So many people are scared to be wrong, but it is all apart of the process.

Lastly, I would tell them, growth and comfort don’t mix, you have to become an entirely new person if you are looking to grow your brand, YOU MUST BE OBSESSED, it’s the crazy ones that change the world, not the ones that took that job mommy and dad wanted them to.

So I’d tell them to be smart, take the risk, and never stop fighting for what you believe your life can be.

4. How can students use the HBCU Hub app for their benefit? 

Students can benefit from HBCU HUB in many ways, but our primary focus is pure, help students apply, prepare and get accepted into HBCUs, we stress that in all aspects. Our opening home page is a live chat for students to ask alumni questions. 

We look to offer the highest quality information you can find on any HBCU!

5. What’s your favorite feature of the app?

My favorite feature is by far HUB Packs, students complete a form to request information on a school, and we send over a digital package with all the research they needed to get accepted into that school. 

So imagine you are interested in Langston University, but no one wants to do the research, well we will send you a 20 page beautifully designed document included the majors offered, crime rates, student actives and more!

We do all the hard work for students and parents, so I think that’s the coolest feature.

6. How many future downloads/purchases are estimated for the HBCU Hub application? 

We are predicting north of 55,000 this time next year. 

Also, having been incorporated since June of 2017, we are projecting more than $20k in sales to end the 4th quarter. 

7. What is next for your business?

Well, we are the official app of the Black College Expo, and as we grow we look to give back, so this upcoming expo season we will be giving scholarships to students at our college expos. 

Along with that, we are looking to raise funds to help pay for out of state students to travel to the schools they were accepted.

Beyond that we are putting a significant focus on leveraging our position within our industry, we are working with the National College Resource Foundation traveling the country and visiting high schools to ensure that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to succeed no matter what!

Lastly, we are currently looking to raise 1 million dollars in capital, sounds like a far shot for some app that started in a college dorm room but we’ve made it here so why stop achieving greatness now. 

Our impact goes beyond our app, we are looking to impact the Black community as a whole, and we understand that changes start with a good education!

8. RANK your top 5 HBCU’s.

Haha, good try, I can’t rank them in any order all HBCUs matter, and we do not discriminate, regardless of size or endowment, each school offers a point of view that can not be taught anywhere else besides an HBCU.

9. What’s your next marketing moves for your career?

For my career specificity I am mentoring even more, and actually, I’m going to be vlogging my College Expo season as we travel to 12 major cities this upcoming year. I’m doing it one because every Cinderella story has good documentary footage, but furthermore, I think it would be great for people to see someone go from a dorm room to Forbes and have it all on camera, the highs, lows, and rock bottoms. You know seeing someone else survive hell takes the intimidation of it all away.

I want the being of my life to represent an idea of possibility. I’m just a young kid who was born a crack baby that went directly into foster care. I want a child facing those same stacked odds to say if Jonathan Swindell did it so can I, that’s what’s it all about inspiring the next generation to want better for themselves. 

            Download HBCU Hub on the app store now!


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