Brent Nelson - Creator of Interactive MCAT Prep Book

After I get an idea and refine it, I start working on it and I do not worry about adding something new months later into the project, which would postpone the finished date of the original project. I finish the project that I intended to do from the beginning and I add the new ideas in an update.

Brent Nelson was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA where he obtained a Kinesiology degree in the College of Education at Louisiana State University. Brent has a deep love for sports and education and was a wrestler in high school and then became a coach for one year. In his later years at LSU, he was a public tutor for LSU under the Center For Academic Success program.

After graduating from college Brent realized that he could make a great impact on the way students learn from using traditional textbooks to a more modern computerized textbook with interactive features that was not seen anywhere else on the market. The first interactive textbook was a textbook geared towards changing the way premed students study for the MCAT or the medical college admissions test, which is a test that premed college students take to get accepted into medical school.

Brent is currently finishing a master’s degree in science education from Western Michigan University and draws inspiration from other science educators like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

After graduating from WMU Brent hopes to continue to build great products for college students that will revolutionize how students will experience getting an education.

Where did the idea for Interactive MCAT Prep Book come from?

What started my journey to where I am now began when I was in college, taking a science major intro to Biology class. During that class I became fascinated with Biology, and what I wanted at that time was my Biology notes from that class into a single file on my computer, so I could search any Biology term and pull up all the information I needed for it. For example, if I wanted to know information on enzymes all I would have to do would be to type in enzyme and all the information would be available to me.

I then took Chemistry and loved everything about it also, so I did the same for my Chemistry notes and even added notes from other sources outside of the class as I would find out more information.

Physics became the same way and when I got to Organic Chemistry I started applying the chemical reactions that I learned in Chemistry with the Physics information I learned about mirrors and in my garage I started (but didn’t finish) to build a mirror apparatus that would make a small toy look much larger than its actual size by using the mirrors and lens information I learned from Physics (this was all for fun and just something that I wanted).

Throughout all of this time I was a public tutor for LSU and I built up a large volume of science material on my computer and it was starting to get a lot of attention from students who wanted it especially from premed students. So immediately after I graduated I began working on forming a company what would be known as MVP Series so that students everywhere can have a new revolutionary way of learning the science material for the MCAT.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A typical day for me includes overlooking marketing plans, creating content that will be shared on social media, and a large part of my time involves building the next great product.

I make my day productive my allocating my time on different projects and still leave enough time to focus really hard on the new products that will be released.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I usually get my ideas when driving in my car listening to music and when I get an idea that I have thought about for a while I start thinking about who I would need to talk to get it done. Finding people who are incredibly talented and getting them to help you with something is really essential to being an entrepreneur.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I have become really interested in video. Facebook and YouTube are starting to talk more about videos and 360 videos. It could be interesting where this all will go and what customers and students will want.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

After I get an idea and refine it, I start working on it and I do not worry about adding something new months later into the project, which would postpone the finished date of the original project. I finish the project that I intended to do from the beginning and I add the new ideas in an update.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

In high school, I worked in a small warehouse. The manager and staff understood English as a second language, so it was sometimes hard to understand what they were saying. They were great and nice people, but I guess I took the job too quick. I learned to be more patient when looking for the right job or the right people to work with, because if there is a communication gap for whatever reason it can be hard to work as a team.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have spent more time trying to find other people to help me rather than doing too much by myself.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Find what your passion is and follow it. I have a very hard time doing things that I am not passionate about. I always do things my own way which sometimes goes against a traditional approach to regular life and the outcome has been that I make and do better stuff than if I had followed something I was not as passionate about.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

One strategy in terms of marketing is that I try something new often and see how people respond to it. If students like it and I get positive feedback I give students more of what they like. When we know exactly what students like they are more likely to share it with their friends which helps us grow and continue to make better products for our students.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

It took me a while to see the importance of video. I think this was because my attention was focused elsewhere and video was something that slipped under the radar. Now that I understand how important video is I think it is a great platform to show students just how well we really know the science information and why we can do it better than many other test prep companies.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Business ideas are everywhere from starting a restaurant, pet shop, or a college student t-shirt company. The idea is important, but what is more important is to have passion around the subject matter. The reason passion is so important is because when starting a company the times can get extremely difficult where you are working 12-13 hours a day everyday and if you do not love what you are doing, you are going to quit. If I did not love what I was doing there would be no way I would have gotten this far. Being passionate is not the only thing that someone needs to have to be a successful entrepreneur, but it will improve the odds.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The last $100 I spent was something for our new product, which I can not talk about. The reason this was the best $100 I spent is because it is going to be a great product that I will be able to give back to the students who have chosen to invest in our interactive MCAT book. I really think students are going to love it.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I use dropbox and iCloud drive to keep my files safe. I love that I can access these files from my phone or any computer I am on and never have to worry about if my computer gets lost or stolen.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Read the book “On The Shoulders Of Giants” it is a book on the science life of physicist like Nicolaus Copernicus through Albert Einstein. I am a huge physics fan. When I was in grade school I loved Physics and Chemistry and for my birthday one year my parents got me a telescope so I could look at the moon and think that man walked on that and how a great accomplishment that was for human society.

I think this is a good book for people to read because it explains the process of science and how science works.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

I have lot of respect for Bill Nye. He is a great science educator and is doing some amazing things at helping teach people understand what science entails and how the process is done.

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