Clarkson’s Reh School of Business Gives $20,000 in Startup Funding to First Year Students

Students present their business plan ideas

Continuing its 25th-year tradition, Clarkson University’s David D. Reh School of Business provided all first year business students with access to a panel of guest reviewers with a chance to get real startup funding for their new ventures. 

The nationally recognized program is one of the few in the country that provides a platform for students in their first college semester to craft plans for the launch of a business venture that the student’s develop shortly after they arrive on campus. 

This year, nine innovative ideas were presented to a panel of four experienced investors.  The guest venture fund managers reviewed presentations demonstrating that a market existed for the concept and that sound financial assessment supported the request for startup capital.  Students who choose to continue with the program will have the opportunity to use funds that were allocated to launch the concept in the spring semester. 

The concepts that were funded this year include;

  • A custom designed stuffed animal that provides support to children with autism and those who struggle with anxiety.
  • A summer hockey camp focusing on developing both the athlete and the student.
  • A recovery device designed to provide hands free therapy for athletes with muscle strain.
  • The reopening of a popular coffee shop on campus.
  • A bakery providing hand crafted product for a variety of campus locations.
  • An innovation designed to assist rodeo competitors.
  • A company selling branded clothing in support of student emergency funding needs.

Two concepts that were not initially funded but will have the opportunity to request funding after revisions include a competitive golf game and a healthier energy drink.

Marc Compeau, Professor of Practice, leads the course and suggested “the level of complexity in the students’ concepts elevates each year.  This year not only were they more complex but they also seemed to focus on making a social impact, which speaks highly of the generation.”

“The students did an amazing job coming up with innovative concepts, crafting a business plan for their ideas, and presenting their plans to the judges. I see immense potential in this new cohort of students. I look forward to seeing where the Reh School educational experience takes them,” commented Diego Nocetti, Interim Dean of the Reh School of Business.

The Reh School develops business leaders who combine business acumen, analytical thinking, technical expertise, and a global perspective to benefit business and society. Its hands-on approach to business education is accredited by AACSB and has a proven track record of success; Reh School graduates enjoy placement rates, starting salaries, and career mobility that are among the best in the nation.

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