Image of Eric Watson

Employee Wins Topeka Entrepreneur Award

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Creativity produces innovation, and no one knows this better than Eric Watson, a CapFed® Customer Service Representative at our 1201 S Topeka Boulevard branch in Topeka.  Eric was one of the winners of an annual entrepreneur competition held at Washburn University and sponsored by GO Topeka. Eric won for his pitch of a social media app called HotSpot. We recently sat down with Eric to talk about the competition and his idea for the new HotSpot app.

Talk a little bit about the competition Washburn hosted….

The competition worked just like the TV show Shark Tank. In the first round, competitors had three minutes to pitch their ideas to the judges. The judges evaluated all the contestants based on their presentations, how well they knew their products/industry and the ideas themselves.  Then, the judges picked the four best ideas to advance to the final round, where the contestants had eight minutes to present their ideas in more detail.

Image of Eric Watson accepting an award check

How did you come up with the idea for HotSpot?

Entering the competition was an assignment for one of my business classes. At first, I didn’t want to enter, because I thought I’d be too shy to talk about my idea. But, I’m glad it was mandatory. Coming up with the idea for the HotSpot app was the easy part. I was out with my friends and we didn’t know if the restaurant we were heading to was going to be busy and fun or slow and boring. I combined the idea of real-time updates with a social network to come up with the HotSpot app.  The app gives users a glimpse of what the atmosphere is like at their favorite places to go. HotSpot is designed to bring the community into one social circle, with the added benefit of giving real-time information on what’s happening.   

What did you learn from this experience and do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?

The overall experience is something I will never forget. Being around fellow entrepreneurs and getting a different point of view was a learning experience that has shaped my outlook on the future.  Thinking outside the box invites inspiration, so I do consider myself an entrepreneur. I changed my major five times before figuring out what I really want to do. I enjoy the concept of entrepreneurship because there isn't a wrong way to do things. You can create things from scratch and turn them into whatever you want. When inspired, people can do and create some pretty amazing things.  

Any advice you’d give to fellow entrepreneurs?

Don’t let anyone say you can’t do it. If you have an idea and believe in it, you can make it happen with determination and persistence. I will say, the creativity and innovation parts of the process are the most fun. Make sure you find the right people to help with the practical tasks behind implementing your idea. We’re in talks right now with developers to make HotSpot a reality.

Congratulations, Eric and thank you for being a True Blue® representative of Capitol Federal®!  Best of luck in creating your new app, HotSpot.

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