Business Booming for College Entrepreneurs in Ankeny

ANKENY, Iowa – Tucked away in a small garage in Ankeny, Alex Segura and his two cousins say their brand new business of three months is booming.

“People are buying, they’re coming from hours away,” he said. “They see us on Facebook, they see us on Craigslist. They come from different states even.”

The business plan isn’t necessarily an original one, but there are none like it in the Des Moines area: Segura buys defected high-end appliances from companies like LG, and then sells them to local shoppers here for a much cheaper price.

“You’re looking at a 3,500 dollar fridge. If you’re getting it for a thousand, to a thousand five-hundred max, you’re saving over two grand – you’ll get over the fact that it has a ding or a dent.”

Segura is finishing his business degree at AIB College in Des Moines, but he says he never saw the reason to wait until graduating to get started on the road to success.

“I mean we’re first-generation born here in the United States,” he said. “I mean, our parents are now citizens, but when they started they started out with nothing.”

He and his cousins say their parents’ determination to give their children a better life in America drives their motivation to succeed; simply being the first generation to go to college would be enough for them to be proud, but Segura says they are thrilled to see their kids building a business at the same time. As far as fearing failure, Segura said that never crossed any of their minds.

“There was no doubt, absolutely no doubt,” he said. “We’ve been working hard since we were little, I’m telling you we would sell things on the side, like tamales. I mean we were always, I guess you could say, hustling.”

“Hustling” might be the right word for it – while Segura says he wants to see this garage space grow, it isn’t his only business venture. And he hopes to start flipping houses in the near future.

“If you don’t take risks, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I mean we could just sit on our full-time jobs, but I mean we have dreams, and if we see this opportunity, we felt like we could take it and do something about it.”

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