Selling Lemonade Was Jennifer Sineway's First Step to Entrepreneurial Success

Jennifer Sineway

Editor's note: In November, Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review ranked the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business No. 10 among entrepreneurship graduate programs in the United States. The reviewers said the program was the best in the Southeast and named USF as the only university in Florida to make the Top 25. It also was the 10th year in a row the center has been on the list. In recognition of the honor, 10 graduate-entrepreneurs were interviewed and profiled. This is one of them:

Jennifer Sineway began her business career as a child, hawking lemonade from a stand in front of her house. Now, she's achieving success by selling equipment and resources to medical and veterinarian practices worldwide, in part, thanks to the education she received at the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business.

She is one of hundreds of graduates of the center who used the knowledge she acquired there to make her life and the lives of her customers, better. The center recently was ranked the best graduate program in the Southeast by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. Ranked No. 10 in the nation, the center is the only Florida school on the list.

Sineway's business, JLS MedEquip LLC, provides a product to a niche market which has proved to be highly successful for the 30-year-old founder and CEO.

She started JLS MedEquip six years ago with only $200. She saved to grow the business without taking out any loans. Initially, she focused only on medical supplies, but soon discovered a veterinary demand for equipment and resources. So she adapted her business plan to cover that demand and that also proved to be hugely successful.

That tweak has grossed more than $1 million over the past two years. She gives some of the credit for being able to recognize that need to her education, which stressed being ready for whatever changes emerge in the business landscape.

"You have to be able to adapt to industry change," she said, "and develop new products.

"The unique skill set and education that I received in the entrepreneurship in applied technology program has significantly impacted my ability to grow my business," Sineway said. "I'm extremely happy to see the program continue to climb the ranks and I am very excited for the ongoing impact the program is making on current and future entrepreneurs.

"Higher education in entrepreneurship is a necessity within the university system," she said, "and proves valuable for students who want to take an unconventional approach and become job creators, problem solvers and leaders in the business community."

Besides her work, she's also active on the volunteer and philanthropic front.

"I believe giving back and investing in the community is a huge part of being a business owner," she said.

Sineway recently chaired the Alumni Society of Entrepreneurs organization that raises money for scholarships, and she created mentorship programs that match business owners with aspiring entrepreneurs.