TEMPLE TERRACE — Young entrepreneur Stephfan Nurse says he has a knack for helping startup businesses reach the next level.
So he hopes it's just a matter of time until his current venture, a Web-based program to help homeowners through the loan modification process, takes off.
Nurse, 24, who lives in Temple Terrace, said he started his first business at the age of 9: creating and selling comic books to classmates. A single copy might have sold for a nickel; a monthly subscription was a quarter.
In high school, Nurse spent most of his free time playing video games online and eventually decided to create his own. He presold copies to classmates.
He admits he was mostly a middling student in grade school, the kind who studied for tests an hour before the exam and was satisfied with a C. But everything changed for the Blake High School graduate when he turned 18 and began attending Hillsborough Community College.
"I looked at it from a perspective as, 'Okay, it's time to get serious now,' " he said.
Not only did Nurse become an honor roll student, but when a college professor mentioned owning a tax firm, Nurse volunteered to help.
He says he immersed himself in tax preparation procedures and helped grow the business by helping companies apply for a certain type of credit.
This year Nurse launched Consumer Education, a software program that walks homeowners through the process of gathering and submitting loan modification documents to lenders. Through the website, consumereducationonline.com, home-owners can find out for free if they prequalify for a modification before purchasing the software for $197.
Private detective Frank Coto said he reached out to Nurse for help saving his Valrico home. He and his wife used the program and got their loan modified. A lower interest rate saves them hundreds of dollars each month, Coto said.
"The software makes it a lot easier for people who don't have a lot of know-how," he said.
Tia Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3405.