Bootcamp Alumni Event
About 40 alumni, sponsors, supporters, community leaders enjoyed an evening of reconnecting, networking, sharing business successes, and working on business needs as part of the BTE Alumni event in what is soon to be Pullman’s newest one-of-a-kind event venues, “The Seasoned House”, on 215 SE Paradise Street.
“Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp” was never designed to be a “one and done” experience. It is just as important we follow-up, stay connected to campers and continue to invest in their company’s development so that the long-haul from business idea to product inception or service rollout is completed successfully. A rising tide raises all boats
Alumni shared progress made, obstacles encountered, pivots undertaken and rebranding efforts. As is often the case at entrepreneurial gatherings comments unveil new approaches and the social setting allows for deeper discussions. The arrangement of the nearly full main dining room at The Seasoned House allowed everyone to be heard without amplification as stories were shared from each table. Some of those stories are below.
Sara Joplin and Daquarii Rock, The Seasoned House, lead off the sharing by describing a summary of how they went from first-time campers with little more than a strong desire to transform a former dining venue from a much-neglected facility to the stunning dining room we now occupied in just over 5 months of hard work and continual encouragement from the community. Alex Navarro and Francis Benjamin who had visited during the renovation remarked the condition it was in a few weeks ago compared to what we all saw that evening was nothing short of miraculous. Daquarii also shared how she took all the nickels donated at the Bootcamp, added another $100 worth of coins, and glued them to the floor in the original entryway.
Mark Mooring of Nomadic Sports and 2nd place Palouse Challenge winner changed the name of his business to “Strut Collar” after additional market research. His business plan was distinctive, but the name “Nomadic Sports” placed him buried in a very crowded field making it hard for potential clients to discover his service.
Trent Goetze, Airway Hills Golf Center, working with his daughter Abbie on the business plan she completed after Bootcamp, realized there was a need for a weather proof golf-centered event venue in Pullman. Installing computerized golf-swing hardware and analysis software in that venue would allow Trent to continue offering lessons year-round and provide golfers practice with precise visual feedback. Designing a venue structure with one wall that opened onto the driving range would give golfers the physical and auditory feedback necessary to carry forward what they practiced inside during the off-season onto the links when the new season began.
Diana Reed, Diana Reed Collection, found a manufacturer for her line of clothing while attending a non-business related function in Minnesota. She has received inquiries from several foreign countries and has begun getting labels and catalog pictures for the first run of 500 garments.
Howard Davis shared WSU has qualified to become one of the teaching centers for the National Science Foundation’s I-CORPS program. They offer three, 8-week sessions of intensive instruction and practicums in business planning using the Launch Pad software to ten, 3-5 person teams beginning fall 2016.
Max Mohan, our local SCORE representative, shared his interest in helping Bootcamp participants include an international component with their business plans. He has contacts in the Middle East and years of international business experience living overseas. A man of many talents, he is also offering cooking classes at The Seasoned House using their full commercial kitchen facilities.
Sarah McKnight distributed information for Startup Whitman program SEWEDA (Southeastern Washington Economic Development Association) offers. Startup Whitman is part of the Startup Washington program funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce to act as a clearing house for all information and resources entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses need to be successful.
Aziz Makhani from the Washington Small Business Development Center and Todd Boardman from the Idaho Small Business Development Center shared about some of the services they offer entrepreneurs on the Palouse.
The Seasoned House is the small business idea long-time residents of the Palouse, Daquarii Rock and Sara Joplin, brought to the 2016 Bootcamp. Originally built as a parsonage for two churches on the property in 1890, the house was converted to an iconic restaurant in 1970 and recognized throughout the Palouse until it closed in 2001.
When camp ended, Daquarii and Sara put to use what they learned, rolled up their sleeves and began 5 months of cleaning, repairing, networking, meeting with University of Idaho Interior Design students, and continuing to work long hours until it was ready to host the Alumni Event.
Equipped with a full commercial kitchen, rich wooden interiors, unique history and vantage point, Rock and Joplin want to make The Seasoned House a premier venue for parties of 49 for anniversaries, graduations, and wedding receptions. They also hope to identify a non-profit organization or yoga class that would use the space on a regular basis.
We’re setting up an “Adopt-a-Stair” program where anyone who is interested can ‘buy’ a step and have their name or that of a business branded onto it,” said Joplin. “It’s a way for us to involve the community in the growth of this building. We want everyone to know that we’re here for them and that this is a way for them to make their mark on this historical landmark. Everyone will see the name for years to come.
- Winter Ideation Event on Thursday November 3rd in Moscow, 129 West Third Street (conference room and Suite 104)
- 5-5:30 pm Social
- 5:30-7 pm
- Open mic to share ideas
- Team work to brain storm and develop ideas
- One-on-one mentoring available
- Connecting with business partners and fellow entrepreneurs
- Sponsored by
- Palouse Knowledge Corridor
- Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp
- University of Idaho
- Idaho Entrepreneurs
- Idaho Small Business Development Center
- Appearances Marketing and Promotions
- $100 awarded for best idea
- Applications for the second 8-week session open in November
- Global Entrepreneur Week (November 14-19, 2016)
- An event at the Bell Tower in Pullman, Monday November 14th, 6-8 pm.
- Success stories from local entrepreneurs
- Contact Nathan Weller (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details
- 2017 Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp
- Sunday May 21 – Thursday May 25
- Applications open in January 2017