No Bugs LA and Southern Cool Mist
Established in 2010
Founder: Jay Harrison
Jay is a senior Business Management major at Louisiana Tech University, and has started 5 businesses during his time at Tech. Jay was a member of the track team here at Louisiana Tech until his sophomore year due to a hip injury sustained his freshman year. Then midway through his junior year, he had surgery to repair his hip. So Jay did what any college kid would do during rehabilitation—he sat around, watched TV, and played video games. But that soon lost its luster and he was seeking something else to occupy his time. Why not start a business?
Jay had an idea for a new system of setting up hunting decoys, so he set out and built one. After seeing some of difficulties and cost in the manufacturing of these items, he decided it would be best to sell the idea to a bigger company and let them handle that task. Also, Jay ran into the obstacle of trying to get that item into stores because of his lack of experience and connections in the industry. But a larger company had those long time connections and was able to bring his product to the market in no time. Now that product is soon to make it to the big stores of Cabella’s, Bass ProShop, and Academy. So one business up and sold and onto the next one.
Next, Jay developed his home bug repellent business No Bugs LA. No Bugs LA is a mosquito misting system that can be installed in landscaping and under house eaves that automatically controls over 300 bugs, and is safe for people, pets, and plants. The company can either install the systems around the house or offer a monthly or one time spray service for your house. No Bugs LA keeps Jay pretty busy throughout the school year as the amount of installation orders keeps piling up on his desk.
Along with these two businesses, Jay has worked here at Tech and with his father on different business ventures. These concepts range from construction industry to the oil field industry. His latest venture is called Southern Cool Mist. This company offers cooling systems for outdoor areas as well as the ability to improve air conditioner productivity and longevity. He hopes that this business will have success similar to No Bugs LA.
As a young entrepreneur, Jay identified his greatest resource as the mentors he found at Louisiana Tech and the northern Louisiana area. They have offered advice and knowledge during times when he did not have the answer. He learned entrepreneurs should never be afraid to ask questions because how else will they learn. They will never know everything there is to know about their industry or starting a business, so ask. Also entrepreneurs should never be afraid of the answer, “No.” Jay was told his decoy idea would not work, so he went back to the shop and did some modifications and solved the problems. He kept working at the project and did not give up on it. He remembered watching kids on his middle school track team just give up and walk off the track and it amazed him that they could do that. Jay knows that starting your own business is hard work and he says you must be willing to do that or else you will not survive. So entrepreneurs should never be afraid of hard work because that is what it takes to make it. But he also promotes a healthy balance between work and personal life. He still makes time for his fiancé and the people that are important in his life. Finally, Jay has not had to ask for money to start his businesses. He has been smart with his money and his business decisions in that he has been able to fund his ventures through income from the others. So you do not need to be the rich to start a business, though it does help. There are plenty of young start ups that have bootstrapped themselves into success.
Jay Harrison averages a new business every two months, so be on the lookout for this man as he has many more months and years ahead of him. He graduates in May of 2012 and who knows what he will do when he no longer has classes to attend during the day.
Written by Chris Tamez December 2011