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Chemical Manufacturing

  1. May 20, 2013 #1
    I want to create a company that makes carpet cleaning solutions and shampoos. I am currently a second year civil engineering student, strongly considering switching to chemical engineering in pursuit of my dream. I want to know if I need the chemical engineering training to go after such a endeavor? Or can i continue with my civil, and pick up the knowledge to create such chemical solutions?
    Where do i start?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2013 #2

    Firstly you'll want something that is very different from what is currently available, startups that only offer "me too" generic products almost always fail. Secondly, for something like this you'll need to start small, like garage small. You'll need to invest some money as well as actively pursue some investment from friends and family, how much depends on what kind of equipment you'll need to produce it on a small scale, getting big angel and VC investment is hard and you're going to have to have some revenue before you can consider going up to that level. You also want to pay attention to patents and IP, I've heard horror stories of startups with brilliant products who lost out because they didn't protect their products. It's not cheap but its a corner you absolutely do not want to cut. Added to all of that above is sales and marketing, I've never heard of a company succeed without selling a lot.

    As you can see, starting a company is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and a whole lot of learning, business in and of itself is a learned skill. There will be lots of long days with no immediate reward, delayed gratification is an important attribute. If you're willing to accept all of that, then welcome to the world of entrepreneurship. It's good to see someone getting involved in a politically unpopular but important industry. I can suggest a good place to start is some of Guy Kawasaki's books and blogs, which offers some good startup advice.
  4. May 24, 2013 #3
    It depends...
    Like aquitaine said, you're going to need a tremendous work ethic and do A LOT of research.
    If you've got the brains and the drive, you probably wont need the degree at all....
    The key is to stay positive and not be afraid.
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