JULIE KENYON, Copy Editor—Pursuing a career as an entrepreneur after college is much like entering a shark tank without a protective cage: daunting and unpredictable. Undergraduate universities rarely provide the wide array of knowledge necessary to excel in the world of startups forcing many graduates to put off their dreams of starting their own business ventures.
The Red Frame Lab’s 10 Week Startup initiative provides coaching to students who are interested in pursuing a career as an entrepreneur, giving them a vast array of tools that will help launch them into the business world successfully.
Nicholas Yehle ’20 is an economics major who attended the three-day startup last year and decided to continue refining his product, CoffeeStraw, to make it a reality with the help of the Red Frame Lab.
CoffeeStraw is an on-the-go sustainable coffee brewing mechanism that cuts out the messy hassle of brewing a cup of joe to go while serving every business person, student or caffeine addict who needs to cut down on time in the morning.
Yehle emphasizes that the Red Frame Lab has been “amazing for my company” and because of the connections made available through the program, Yehle was invited to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the Netherlands last summer where he networked and further curated his product.
The Red Frame Lab is extending the program from three days to 10 weeks for students who are in the process of developing their own pitches and business proposals. At the end of the program, students will give their final pitch to a panel of four professionals. The judges will then ask students a series of questions like those one would receive in the business world.
The winning team with the best pitch, proposal and product will then have a chance to earn a $1,000 cash prize granted by Denison Alum, Julie Tucker ‘09.
Robert Habbot is one of the professional coaches contracted to advise Denison entrepreneurs. When asked how he would describe the innovative Red Frame Lab, he explains it as being an “immersive program to give students hands on skills and processes for building and pitching a company” emphasizing that his role within the Lab is to coach each team or student on what and how they need to further expand and develop their product.
Habbot explains that the 10-week Red Frame Startup is an expansion off of the Three Day Startup program held last year that served as the catalyst for curating a program that was more intensive, flexible and individualized.
The projects that enter the 10-week initiative are unique in design and vary in development. Habbot explains that some students come to the drawing table with new and broad ideas that are just being developed while others, like senior Nick Yehle’s CoffeeStraw Startup, are in the finishing stages of the process.
The connections and tools provided to students through the Red Frame Lab are giving many young entrepreneurs at Denison a leg up as they prepare to enter the business world.