Could 03, 2022
Written by Dave Fidlin | Images by Craig Schreiner
Scarce cash, sneakers and kombucha may well seem to be like an not likely blend, but all 3 have been amongst a group of small business concepts on full screen for this year’s Warhawk Small business Prepare Level of competition that set UW-Whitewater scholar business owners in front of a panel of judges.
In the 16th yearly competitiveness, held April 27 at the Innovation Centre within just the Whitewater College Technological innovation Park, six students offered their organizations ahead of the five-individual panel of judges in a timed, 6-minute format.
Freshman Chad Tjugum of Sun Prairie gained very first prize ($1,250 in tuition credit history) for SeventyCoin, his on the web scarce coin organization. Senior Kara Zamora of Mount Nice gained second prize ($1,000 in tuition credit history) for her aptly named product or service, Kara’s Kombucha. Freshman Hayden Pauls of Menomonee Falls took third spot ($750 in tuition credit history) for his on the web sneaker enterprise, Fly Kicks. All three learners are majoring in entrepreneurship.
Professor of Management William Dougan is amid the College of Wisconsin-Whitewater college who enjoy a pivotal purpose in keeping the company system competitiveness each yr. Dougan has been concerned with the event since its inception in 2007 and reported plans these types of as this one are a excellent way to progress what takes spot inside the classroom.
“The university is participating in a role in culture as an engine for the improvement for new thoughts,” Dougan explained. “Through this technique, you can help younger individuals to seriously speed up their occupation path. It showcases their endeavours and allows them to be equipped to generate social networks. It is an prospect for them to get out in entrance of people. It is excellent for the neighborhood, it’s fantastic for the college and it’s very good for the younger persons.”
Even though Dougan has been an integral part of the opposition from day just one, he explained the do the job of other UW-Whitewater faculty, advisors, university student groups and local community collaborators has been the bedrock of its success. The campus chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Business, or CEO, has also been foundational from the get-go.
George Soucek, who is president of the UW-Whitewater CEO’s government board, explained the occasion is a normal match for the organization’s general mission of fostering entrepreneurship.
“It’s competitions like these where college students can share their strategies and create connections that can past a lifetime,” Soucek claimed. “Here at Whitewater, we’ve experienced some very effective startups and great enterprises appear out of this university.”
In his pitch to the judges at the April 27 opposition, Tjugum touched on the evolution of SeventyCoin, which has been in organization considering the fact that 2016 and, to day, has marketed additional than 2,600 scarce cash by an eBay retailer. Various several years back, Tjugum branched off into providing sneakers, but experienced indicated he designs to get out of that unique phase within just the future calendar year.
Although there are a bounty of other uncommon coin dealers in bodily storefronts and by means of on the net marketplaces, Tjugum said he is looking to modernize an getting old organization — a proposal that won about the judges.
“The uncommon coin marketplace is a little something that hasn’t been innovated on significantly,” said Tjugum, who notched $429,000 in revenues past year and has $609,000 revenue forecast this year. “I’m seriously looking to innovate on it.”
Zamora explained her line of kombucha drinks go outside of the merchandise itself. Her organization system intermingles the ideas of digestive and mental overall health and contains other long run targets, which include a donation of her business’ proceeds to the corporation Mental Overall health The united states.
“Digestive wellbeing and mental well being are really intently connected collectively,” claimed Zamora, who started using kombucha to remedy her personal individual worries. “When you have a wholesome digestive system, you have a much healthier condition of psychological health and fitness.”
To day, Zamora has been promoting 16-ounce bottles of Kara’s Kombucha to family members and friends and aspires to begin offering it via a business enterprise-to-customer model as she procures the rights to get the job done in a business kitchen area. She also has secured a assertion of desire to offer her fermented tea-like merchandise in a area brewery, options to function a pop-up store in Chicago and needs to perform with nearby artists to design product or service labels.
Pauls recognized Fly Kicks in 2020 and notched $350,000 in product sales last yr. This year, he said he anticipates virtually doubling his profits — to the tune of $650,000 — as he released his possess site, independent of the earlier technique of offering entirely as a result of Instagram.
Though there are a myriad of on the web sneaker sellers, Pauls in his pitch outlined why he believes Fly Kicks stands out from the pack.
“We interact with our shoppers. Our rates are decreased, if not the same,” said Pauls, who is co-founder of the business enterprise. “We like to cost match, or lessen it, relying on the desire of the shoe.”
Although a lot of of the college student entrepreneurs have been impressive above the several years, Dougan stated this year’s presenters were being in particular noteworthy mainly because of the potent results they have already attained in just their businesses.
“This distinct levels of competition was about younger people conversing about what they have accomplished,” Dougan claimed. “Some of these people today have been prosperous when they walked through the doorway. (The competitiveness) allows them to scale their organization, improve their small business and delivers a network and resources to enhance their achievement.”
Other college student individuals in this year’s competitiveness included Josh Baldwin, proprietor and founder of JRB Kicks Jackson Behling, CEO of Hijack Exercise and Alex White, CEO of New Age Golfing Training course.
This year’s panel of judges provided Specialized Sergeant David Brown of the Wisconsin National Guard’s Place of work of Innovation Jim Caldwell, CEO of 1st Citizens Condition Bank Shakkiah Curtis, director of gener8tor’s 1915 Studio Wade Hanna, vice president of First Organization Bank and Brian Jensen, director of global solution at Raymarine.
This year’s competition sponsors provided the Deborah Malewicki Endowment, 1st Citizens Financial institution, gener8tor, Lindy Enterprises and the Union House, Whitewater Innovation Heart, Tony and Erica Prater and Joseph A. Schlidt.