Senior recognized for sweet treats
Many aspiring entrepreneurs can only dream of one day owning their own businesses with yearly revenues of more than $1 million.
Marketing senior Danny Klam has already achieved that dream while still enrolled in the Bauer College of Business’ Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship.
Klam, owner of Simply Splendid Donuts, now is one of nine finalists in Inc. Magazine’s ‘Coolest College Start-ups’ contest, a nationwide competition that includes students from Yale, MIT and University of Southern California, all of whom Inc. Magazine describes as ‘the future of American business.’
Despite the accolades, Klam said it is important to stay focused on his business.
‘The recognition is fine, and a lot of fun, but whether or not I win, I’ll still continue to go to work and give back to the community. At the least, the contest will help with the growth of the business,’ Klam said.
Simply Splendid Doughnuts was originally opened in 2004 as a joint venture with Klam’s cousin, Rock.
With a simple focus on doughnuts and ice cream, the store achieved enough success for Klam to open two additional locations. Klam now employs a staff of 12 with revenue expected around $1.2 million. His goal is to have 10 stores in the Houston area by 2010.
Klam, who often begins his day at 3 a.m. to open one of his stores, enrolled in UH’s entrepreneurship program in spring 2007 after being out of school for several years.
Klam said balancing class with his business is a challenge that he confronts daily.
‘It takes a lot of time, a lot of discipline. The hours are crazy, but you just have to get set your schedule and keep track of your priorities,’ Klam said.
Despite having already achieved success prior to enrolling at UH, Klam said he wanted to learn more about running a successful business and making it grow.
The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship was ranked as the top undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the U.S. for 2008 by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Klam also endowed a scholarship for the program. He said continuing to take classes has ‘given me a lot’ in terms of running a successful business.
‘It’s valuable experience that’s hard to find for yourself and getting to meet and interact with successful business owners has been great,’ Klam said.
Inc. Magazine, a nationally distributed publication targeted toward business owners, will feature Klam and the eight other contestants in a 10-page spread for their new issue scheduled to hit newsstands Tuesday.
If Klam receives the most votes on Inc. Magazine’s Web site and wins the competition, he will likely be spotlighted in Inc.’s annual Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 feature. Students can vote for Klam and view the other contestants by visiting www.inc.com/college.
Klam said with some school pride, victory is within reach.
‘It’s MIT and Yale, so we’re up there with the top dogs,’ Klam said. ‘But we’re proud of our school, so let’s see if we all can win this friendly competition.’