By Becca Kraybill
While many are finishing projects and finals this week, five groups of students are working to develop their own businesses.
Billy Frisbie, Emma Gerig, Niles Graber Miller, Caleb Hochstetler, Jesse Ramer, Hans Weaver, and Jordan L. Weaver, are participants in this year’s entrepreneurship grant process.
In October, the students pitched ideas to the business department for the formation of their own companies. After weeks of developing their ideas with professors and local business owners, the applicants presented their final pitches this week.
Whereas in past years, grant money was awarded to selected winners, this year’s process will divide the money between all applicants. How much money is available, and how exactly it will be divided, however, is not yet public..
Michelle Horning, professor of business, said the department hopes to announce the grant results by Dec. 14.
Hans Weaver, a senior, and Niles Graber Miller, a junior, are participating in the grant process for the second time. In 2010, Weaver and Graber Miller were granted money to expand Cultural Ventures LCC, their business that produces Menno Tea.
This year, Weaver and Graber Miller are pitching to produce “Menno Tea Raw,” which would offer dried-leaf tea in tea bags. They also hope to produce an unsweetened tea recipe and what they call “point of sales”–in other words, advertisements to place in stores.
Weaver and Graber Miller hope the grant would help push their company from a college business to a “real-life business.”
Hochstetler, a senior, is pitching to develop a business that creates high-quality, customizable mobile applications for small, local businesses. Hochstetler believes the applications have the opportunity to “enhance anyone’s life.” He sees mobile applications as “a new and ever-expanding market.”
Gerig, a junior, is proposing a business that contracts her children’s book illustrations. Gerig says that illustrating books is a “dream job,” but the grant process has allowed it to become more realistic and obtainable.
The grant money would allow Gerig to attend conferences, develop a professional profile and work on a book design, she said.
Jordan L. Weaver, a senior, and Ramer, and junior, are pitching for a business they call “Guernsey Green Pastures.” The company would allow people to buy raw milk, cheese and other dairy products directly from dairy farmers. Currently, this process is illegal due to pasteurization laws.
Weaver and Ramer believe their company would benefit customers looking for sustainable practices as well as healthy eating. The products would come from grass-fed cattle.
Frisbee, a senior, is pitching to develop Entertaining Angels, a company he owns that offers artists “concert reinforcement,” including lighting, recording and sound assistance. Frisbee was granted money for the same business in 2010.
The grant process is open to any majors. For more information, visit goshen.edu/business.