Alec Atkinson – Founder of Harvest React
Alec Atkinson founded HarvestReact in June of 2021. His company, geared in the a social media marketing realm, helps individuals setup drop shipping stores in the e-commerce realm.
Prior to founding HarvestReact, Alec served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Alec is also a student at Brigham Young Univeristy where he is studying Business Strategy.
Alan Olsen: Hi! I’m Alan Olsen and welcome to American Dreams. I’m visiting here today with Alec Atkinson. Alec, Welcome to today’s show.
Alec Atkinson: Thank you. Thanks for having me Alan.
Alan Olsen: So Alec is a young entrepreneur. And that already is out of the starting gate with a lot of energy and Alec for the listeners here. Give us an overview of who you are and how you got to where you are today.
Alec Atkinson: Yeah, perfect. Like you said, my name is Alec Atkinson. I am currently a student at BYU. I founded Harvest React back in June of this last year. And like you said, just been out the gates run. And so that’s kind of what I’m what I’m up to.
Alan Olsen: Okay, so Harvest React, how did this come about? You are also in school, is that right?
Alec Atkinson: Right. So, basically, the way that kind of got started, actually, I served a tear mission for the LDS church. And before then I really wanted to get into business. And so actually, junior high school, I did a program called Deca, and started doing really well in business competitions. And then I went on to start a small speakers and lights company, so we would rip apart cars and put new speakers lights in them. And that did pretty well. And then I left that all after I graduated high school and served a mission out in Chicago, Illinois for for two years. And then I got back. And I’ve been thinking while I was gone in Chicago, and we spent a lot of time on social media because of the pandemic, trying to help and serve people. And the biggest thing that we I found was that there is a lot of things on social media that can really be beneficial to companies that are trying to reach out to people and whether that is in sales or service or different things like that. And so that’s kind of where this Harvest Reactor harsh reactions came about.
Alan Olsen: You know, it is interesting, a lot of people your age would be off looking at the fun things of life video games, or exploring the outdoors. And there you are problem solving already. And what is your major in school right now?
Alec Atkinson: Yes, so I am planning on studying business strategy, and I just got accepted into BYU Sandbox program is what it’s called. It’s a pretty new program. And it’s basically like an incubator for startups. So you put in a team, and you launch a company in college, and they give you credit for it. So it is pretty cool.
Alan Olsen: Excellent. Excellent. So tell us about some of the projects that you’re currently working on.
Alec Atkinson: Yes, so, you know, one of the biggest ones right now is kind of our E-commerce, what we do at Harvest React. And, you know, there we do is we take between 30 and $40,000 investments from individuals, and we will start an LLC on their behalf, whatever they want to call it. And then what we do is we start basically automated drop shipping stores, on Facebook, Walmart, and on Amazon. And from there, we have software with our partners, called Wifi money and DBC limited. And basically what they do is they go on and find products that are that are selling well. And then we have retailers throughout, you know, the United States that we list those products on, and we build this ship the Drop Shipping stores for for people.
Alan Olsen: So it is a distribution model, essentially.
Alec Atkinson: Yeah.
Alan Olsen: Okay. All right. So what inspired you to get started in this E-commerce space? You mentioned about being on an LDS mission and starting social media, the but how does that relate back to the E-commerce?
Alec Atkinson: Yeah, good question. So one of the biggest things I think, is when I got home from my mission I was just hungry to do whatever in business. And I actually met somebody, before my mission that connected me with a guy named William Mohler. And he kind of introduced me to this space, he had their their companies based out in Florida. And from there, I just got really interested in E-commerce basically. And I found some things that I think I can do pretty well good job at. And, that is kind of where that interest started. Obviously, then Amazon’s growing Walmart’s growing Facebook marketplaces growing. And so I wanted to get into that while I could.
Alan Olsen: Do you have employees right now?
Alec Atkinson: Yeah, so we have about five employees in Utah. And then with our partners. Every time we launch a store, there’s about four or five employees on each store. And right now we’re managing about 12 stores. Our personal company, and then with our partners, they own about 700 of their own stores as well.
Alan Olsen: Oh, my goodness. So you are you are you are scaling fairly quickly then. How is your business been affected by the pandemic?
Alec Atkinson: Yeah, so I guess I can first talk about the social media side. More and more people are connecting via social media because of COVID. They are spending more and more time on their phones. In that regard, with the software we’re developing currently, and we are hoping to release here in the next couple of months. It has grown so much. Our partnerships that we have had with becoming Wifi money, like I mentioned, when we do this digital marketing, we help companies, that are very, very small, that have really not made their presence known on social media, more known and helped them leverage, different things like CRMs, and those types of things. It’s just really helped, the pandemic has really grown that with that kind of audience. And then obviously, on the E-commerce side, that’s been huge as well. More and more people are buying stuff online. I read an article on Business Insider the other day that you know, it’s supposed to be the first year that E-commerce hits a trillion in sales. I think that is, is totally true.
Alan Olsen: Oh, my goodness, a trillion dollars in sales? Wow, that is that is. So in terms of the vision here, what do you see the whole thing going?
Alec Atkinson: Yeah, Harvest React, obviously started out as just some basic software development, you know, we started doing some work for a large corporation, and then sold that off. And after that we are building another version of what we sold. And we are hoping to kind of take that and grow that. Then on the E-commerce side we want to keep growing right now, we are really pushing Facebook marketplace and those types of things, because it is such a new platform. And we are finding a lot of success on there. That’s why we are taking most of the investments that we are getting right now and putting it and throwing that into Facebook, because we really see that as a as a huge growth opportunity for us.
Alan Olsen: So Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk all have one thing in common. Do you know what that is?
Alec Atkinson: What is it?
Alan Olsen: They never finished college, so you have an opportunity to do a one up on them. And launch a very successful business impacting the world and it may be getting your degree at the same time. So they all started out, though, with good intentions.
Alec Atkinson: Yeah, no, I’m excited. I really hope that I can finish my degree here at BYU. I really like it and I’m learning a lot. So that’s the goal.
Alan Olsen: Hey, Alec, it’s been a pleasure having you with us today. And, and well, we’ll put a link up your website if if a person were to reach out, how would they they do that?
Alec Atkinson: Yeah, they can reach out to me personally or through our website, we have a form submission that anything that they may need with their digital marketing or on the E-commerce side or software. They can reach out.
Alan Olsen: Very good alright. Thanks for being with us today.