In 2002, after graduating high school in Columbus, Georgia, Tyler Jefcoat (BBA ’07, MBA ’13) took an interest in Athens and the University of Georgia for two reasons: its music scene and its business school. While music stayed as a hobby, Tyler thrived in UGA’s Terry College of Business as an undergraduate.
After graduating and working as a retail bank manager, Tyler realized that corporate culture didn’t suit him. With encouragement from two key figures in his life, his dad and father-in-law, he returned to UGA and enrolled in an MBA program. It was here where he found his true passion for entrepreneurship.
“I came out of that MBA experience realizing that I just wasn’t a great corporate guy. I needed to build something for myself—so, I did,” Tyler said. “I literally got to present a concept company that we built, Care to Continue, as my final project in the MBA entrepreneurship class. I got great support from the university and from my classmates.”
Care to Continue trained and empowered caregivers for in-home senior care. Tyler stayed with Care to Continue for five years. The first year was difficult as they tried to market their name and build a loyal client base. By year two, though, the company was well-established within the market.
“We were onto something because we understood our customer,” he said. “I think we were in a good market, but it was hard; it was crazy. And I was grateful that I got to sell my part of that business, because that was a 24/7/365 animal.”
Tyler sold his portion of Care to Continue in 2018 after realizing that the direction the business was heading didn’t follow his vision. He helped train the new leadership team for 100 days. While selling his part of the company benefitted him and his family, he stressed over what his next steps should be.
His wife, Emily (AB ’08)—whom he met through an undergraduate club at UGA—was by his side the entire time, assuring him of his path while keeping their two daughters in mind.
“I had a bunch of great opportunities. And my wife said, ‘Tyler, these opportunities all seem to be in Chicago or Atlanta or New York. You need to find something that’s not in Chicago or Atlanta or New York.’ And so, we started looking for ideas.”
Not wanting to uproot his family’s life for a career in a big city, Tyler found the answer in Athens. While having a coffee with one of his friends, Tyler considered a new idea: e-commerce. He found that there was a need he could fill in bookkeeping for small-scale entrepreneurs.
“I went to my wife—like I did when I started Care to Continue—and said, ‘I’m thinking about starting a company in an industry in which I’ve never worked or had any business with … what do you think?’” he laughed. “Thankfully, she told me that we should do it.”
In 2018, Tyler launched Seller Accountant, an accounting firm that provides e-commerce sellers on Amazon with bookkeeping and fractional CFO (financial coaching) services. The business works with sellers to create and implement customized accounting plans for each unique circumstance.
Using the experience and knowledge he gained from his first company, Seller Accountant quickly became one of the top accounting businesses in the Amazon marketplace.
Tyler is passionate about helping others, and with his new business, he leverages his business and finance background to assist small sellers.
“Leading and encouraging small business owners makes me feel alive,” he said. “It gets me so excited.”
The Innovation District connects bright minds from UGA and beyond. Located across multiple buildings in North Campus and downtown Athens, the Innovation District connects students, faculty, alumni and local businesses. Tyler immediately connected with the Innovation District’s vision.
“The vision of the Innovation District—attaching faculty and alumni ideas to reality and helping them come into fruition—I was like, ‘Man, that’s where I am right now with Seller Accountant.’”
Tyler moved his business into the Delta Innovation Hub in 2021. Now, he and Seller Accountant find inspiration within the Hub while working alongside UGA’s graduate accounting program to help UGA students and alumni.
“We’ve made it our mission to empower students, and we’re seeing results,” he said. “Like graduate assistantships for the graduate accounting program: two years in a row, one of our few students has landed that opportunity. We’re seeing anecdotal evidence that they’re getting higher salaries coming out of the accounting program.”
Knowing what it’s like to be an uncertain graduate, Tyler hopes to foster an environment where a student can succeed in finding the career most suited to them–whether that’s as an employee at Seller Accountant or an entrepreneur forging their own path.
“Could I be a part of someone’s story or their career and get a lot of benefit from it? Absolutely. And there’s no better place to be than on UGA’s campus for that to happen.”