Entrepreneurship Showcase to feature nine student-run businesses

Lyndsey Sager

Oasis Marketing will host the first ever Entrepreneurship Expo of student-run businesses Monday and Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The event, which is sponsored by Ray’s Place, will take place on the second floor of the Student Center, and each of the student-run businesses will have its own table.

“We’ll have everything from a guy selling water bottles, to a T-shirt company to a guy developing an emergency response system for universities,” said Chad Radke, sophomore entrepreneurship major and owner of Oasis Marketing.

Radke said that what the businesses do with their tables is completely up to them.

“We’re going to have some businesses doing raffles, some doing sales, and it actually should be pretty interesting to see what the businesses bring with them,” Radke said. “We’re providing them with the space and the advertising, but the actual flow of the event is up to them.”

Like Radke, most of the students came up with their business ideas in their Entrepreneurial Experience class, which is required for all entrepreneurship majors. In the class, students must start up and run an actual business for the year.

“Some of the businesses were just ideas they came up within class for the year, but others are the culmination of years of work prior to coming to Kent, and in some cases, what they want to do in their future,” Radke said.

To attract students to the event, Oasis purchased general raffle prizes. Radke said he plans to push students to the second floor by showing them the prizes downstairs and encouraging them to go upstairs.

“It’s a great opportunity to see what students can do to make their own futures and use their own resources to become what they want to become,” Radke said. “Entrepreneurship is everywhere and young people are doing it and young people can do it.”

Julie Messing, director of the center for entrepreneurship and business innovation, said entrepreneurship is a relevant field for all students. She said now, more than ever, businesses are coming from non-business majors.

“Recent studies show at least 83 percent of entrepreneurs were non-business majors in school,” Messing said. “They mostly come from science, arts and engineering degrees.”

The companies featured at the showcase will include Always Summer Spray Tans, a mobile, inexpensive spray tan company; Bargain Book Hunters, a book bartering and swapping business; and Brulala Handcrafted Accessories, a company that creates fun, eye-catching and trendy accessories.

It will also feature DTR Apparel, a brother and sister clothing line; Northern Landscaping Enterprises, LLC, a custom lawn and landscape service; Pura-Fi, a company dedicated to making clean and fresh water available to all; PurWater, a reusable, filtering water bottle company; The Safety Net, a mass communication service for universities; and Quest Select Syndicate, LLC, a technology solutions business.

The raffle prizes include a spray tan, Kent State water bottles, Kent State T-shirts, and a free shirt from DTR Apparel.

Contact Lyndsey Sager at [email protected].