Client Profile: Luke Leyden

A client who is truly a team player and puts 110% into anything he pursues. 

Luke Leyden has had a multitude of passions throughout his life, and has truly encompassed the entrepreneurial mindset by taking them to the next level with various business ideas. Although he flirted with the idea of an electronic kit business in middle school, it wasn’t until the Idea Olympics in 2020 that he seriously pursued this plan. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Luke to learn more about his business journey, the importance of not boxing yourself in, and his belief in Bigfoot. 

trolder blinker kit circuit board

5 Things You Need to Know About Luke:

  • Founder of Trolder, a company that creates compact electronic kits that provide entertainment and education on how the modern world works

  • Bit of a card connoisseur (did someone say Trolder trading cards?) and avid Pokemon card collector 

  • Designed, implemented, and managed the tech set up in the Blank_Lab for our Elevator Pitch event, all of which was instrumental to the success of the event  

  • Does not enjoy Oreos…not even the Pokemon ones (little sus if you ask us)

  • One of the most helpful, and humble, individuals who is willing to take on any challenge you throw his way and tackle it with a smile on his face

 

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Happy, ambitious, and curious. 

Can you share some background on how your entrepreneurial journey started and where you are now?

Trolder started because I’d wanted kits like that since middle school. I was always interested in simple solder kits but there was no place to go for them. I participated in the Idea Olympics in 2020 and won funding from there which I spent on getting the business started and branding materials. I launched my first kit in February of 2021 and began selling on Amazon shortly after that. I continued to participate in pitch competitions and even won the LaunchNET scholarship for school which allowed me to put other money towards my business. Trolder currently has one kit available and we’ll be expanding to a second in the near future.

Is there anything you would do differently? If so, what?

I wouldn’t spend $350 dollars on a logo *shudders* but it’s a great design and we still use that logo, so it worked out.

What’s the most valuable thing you learned along your journey?

I thought LaunchNET was where it ended, but there are truly so many resources out there – ones that go even further than LaunchNET – to help your business. 

What method did you find most helpful for promoting your business?

I’m still working on that. I wouldn’t say I’ve found the best way but I’ve found interviews and events to be helpful in keeping me active in the right groups and making connections. 

What advice would you give to students pursuing an idea?

Personas in the business world, such as the constant hustler and the serial entrepreneur, are not the only way to do things. You don’t need to box yourself into that stereotype, take your time and do things the way you want. I’d also like to add, to try and avoid unnecessary risks, do your best to minimize them…and if you took any advice from the Wolf of Wall Street – just don't. 

What is one of your proudest student and/or career moments?

I have a job lined up for after graduation in May [2022]. I’m proud that I went into my senior year with that position.  

How would you describe the entrepreneurial mindset?

I think there’s more than one way to have this mindset and it’s much broader than people realize. You don’t have to be constantly hustling and making millions, just do what makes you happy and if you make money while doing it, well then that’s a great plus. 

What role has LaunchNET played in your life/venture?

Well regarding Trolder, they were the reason I started the company when I joined the Idea Olympics in 2020. They’ve been a go-to resource when trying to figure stuff out with the business. I enjoy the people there on a personal level and want to stay involved.   

What’s something that makes you happy?

Pokemon cards. 

Editor's Note: Following this interview, Luke stopped by the office to show us his brand new Pokemon deck that featured the Pikachu 005 from Celebrations card he’s been wanting – can confirm that Pokemon cards make him extremely happy.  

What was the last photo you took?

*pulls out phone to check images* Oh right! It was equipment in the Blank_Lab. I was taking the photo because I had to Google what it was…it was some sort of amp, if you were curious.

If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

Bigfoot. I was obsessed with Bigfoot in elementary school. I believe they’re real and if I became one I’d be correct.

Do you have a life motto that you follow?

What’s the worst they’re gonna do, fire me?

 

Thank you for taking the time to discuss your journey with us, Luke! Your involvement in our different events is always appreciated and it’s exciting seeing the progress Trolder has made. We look forward to seeing your future successes, congratulations on the post graduation job (!!), and we’re always here to support in any way we can.