Dec. 12, 2016
CWU Students Roll Out New Businesses
A Central Washington University College of Business entrepreneur program is putting students in the driver’s seat of several brand-new businesses in the Kittitas Valley.
The program had a venture rollout last month in front of an crowd of community developers, investors, college and local officials, as well as the entrepreneurs’ families. Five new student-owned businesses were featured, three of which have long-term plans locally, according to information from local businessesman and CWU business lecturer Lawrence Danton, who is involved in the program.
The businesses are:
• Hitchin’ on a Budget, presented by students Niko Umpleby and Ryan Blowers. The business is designed to connect engaged couples on a tight budget with wedding vendors who need exposure. The students aim to go live with a website in Washington, Oregon and Idaho in March.
• Global Desserts, presented by Amber Deacon. Her goal is to share holidays, festivals and desserts with customers who have a taste for something new. She will start the business locally by catering events, and eventually hopes to open a full bakery on the West Side.
• Gigglydoo, presented by Ernie Kilburn, a student from Lake Stevens who hopes to open a local manufacturing facility to make mobility devices with personality. Her first aim is to make the tennis balls on walkers more user friendly. Her company will offer dog and cat paws and other cute replacements. She plans to help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the company will be structured in a way to employ these individuals.
• JBC Med Detection Dogs, presented by Jillian Guernsey, Clayton Webster, and Billy Barker and three other students. While they weren’t able to give detailed information because of their product idea and the patent process, their goal is to train shelter-sourced dogs to detect a currently undetectable life-threatening condition in humans.
• Auto Med, presented by Ellensburg High School graduate Sy Danton and CWU student Emily Zalk. The not-for-profit auto repair shop will help customers who might not otherwise be able to afford car repairs. People would be able to apply for assistance or pay on a sliding scale. The goal is to use a hospital as a business model.
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