Eric Golman ’15 vividly remembers taking a tour of the University of Maryland during his senior year in high school and seeing a presentation for UMD’s Hinman CEOs program.
“(There was) a statistic about how a promising amount of people in the program start a company while in college and continue to build it after graduating,” recalled Golman. “I looked at my Dad and said ‘I want to do that’.”
A Fairfax, VA native, Golman would go on to major in economics and environmental science and policy at UMD. He also joined the ranks of Hinman CEO successes when he co-founded the award-winning organic coffee company Javazen in March 2014 alongside Aaron Wallach and Ryan Schueler.
In fact, it was while studying for an ECON200 midterm that Golman had his first cup of coffee.
“I noticed that the best part of every day was the coffee that I would prepare and drink, so I decided to make that the full part of my day!” Golman said.
Though Golman’s day-to-day CEO duties vary, he typically manages Javazen’s finance, operations, legal and marketing services.
“The problem-solving skills that I learned in my economics courses helped in making difficult decisions for my business,” Golman said. “Additionally, the abundance of entrepreneurial support that the university offers has played a major role in our growth. The reason I came to UMD was for the entrepreneurial ecosystem and community that it offered.”
Javazen is now sold in more than 200 stores across the country and online. Recently, Javazen also won the 11th annual Cupid’s Cup Competition inspired by Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank. The trio took home $75,000 as well as an additional $5,000 for winning the Audience’s Choice Award.
Golman advises today’s UMD students to think “BIG.”
“The power of being young is the ability to recover from mistakes quickly- this fades as life demands more responsibilities and expectations,” he said. “Now is the time to take big risks- even if it fails, the experience that you will gain by taking a risk and building something that you are truly passionate about can be the launching pad for your next big career move.”
In addition to growing and maintaining Javazen’s influence, Golman and his co-founders are now working on building a new category of food and beverage products focused on health and wellness.
“We see the category that we are creating as a multi-billion dollar opportunity in addition to an ability to make a healthy impact on billions of people every single day,” Golman said. “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished at Javazen, but it is important to note that we are just getting started!”