Valley teen starts business to better serve school supply needs
PHOENIX — One industrious Arizona teenager took his experiences in high school government and turned it into his own business – and it’s attracting a lot of attention.
Valley high schooler Cooper Weissman already has a lot of accomplishments under his belt, including founding a blockchain development company and advocating for more financial literacy for kids.
He also started a company that offers a new way for schools to purchase supplies, and he got the idea from his time in student government.
“We have a lot of funding in student government from planning events and making a profit on those events,” he explained, “but we’re very restricted in how we can use those funds.”
He said that’s because whether buying decorations for a dance or purchasing supplies for the front office, schools have a restrictive list of approved vendors.
“That list [of vendors] was only set up to accommodate things like paper and pencils, basic school supplies,” he added. “So whenever schools or clubs needed something that was kind of out there, it seemed like there wasn’t a one-stop-shop, all-encompassing vendor to meet those needs.”
Weissman saw an opportunity to get around the red tape, and started his own company called Dynamic Purchasing Solutions.
“We got approved by that vendor list, so now any school or club in the district can go to Dynamic Purchasing Solutions,” he said. “Then we can go to other businesses, buy the products, and ship them directly to the schools.”
Essentially, the company operates as an intermediary between the schools and otherwise unapproved vendors, giving those schools more freedom.
Before long, word about the program spread, and other schools were interested.
“We’ve expanded to 43 schools, and there tends to be around 50 clubs at each school,” Weissman said. “We’re quickly growing in that market.”
When things began, Weissman handled the orders and invoices himself. With the company growing, he’s hired two interns from his own high school.
With college on the horizon, he welcomes the help.
“I can focus on building the long-term plan,” Weissman said. “As I move into college I think I’ll continue to have that role – and if business continues to expand I expect to take on more employees.”