Tyler Walstrom shows off his finalist certificate from the PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition 2011.
Creating Entrepreneurs – Re-Thinking What We Do
LHU student a finalist in PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition 2011
April 13, 2012
Universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) advocate student-led creation and management of small business by sponsoring the PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition 2011. The initiative provides students a real-world opportunity to pitch their original business plans and win up to $10,000 in funds to assist in the creation of their businesses.
The PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition opened the door of opportunity for Lock Haven University business administration student, Tyler Walstrom of Philipsburg, Pa., to submit his business plan for Living Canvas Clothing.
"Tyler wrote an impressive business plan starting off with little more than his impressive graphic arts talent coupled with a great idea" says Dr. Marcia Kurzynski, Lock Haven University assistant professor of Business Administration and PASSHE Student Business Plan Committee member.
Tyler's business idea for Living Canvas Clothing, “a quality clothing brand built upon the values and ethics of pride in workmanship, individualized creativity and sustainability" earned him placement as a finalist in the 2011 competition. Tyler's vision for his web-based business would enable "Prospective customers to visit the Living Canvas website and be able to view and purchase unique, original artistic creations" designed by Walstrom. Regarding his product line, he notes that it is definitely "something more than just clothing, it is art we can wear."
In addition to identifying a way to commercialize his graphic arts talent, Tyler incorporated the idea of sustainability in Living Canvas, by identifying and determining the feasibility of putting together a strategy that reflects the principles and management practices of sustainable business.
Walstrom wants to stay true to his interests by making Living Canvas more appealing to a generation of buyers who are involved in similar communities such as him like the tattoo and music industries.
"To accomplish my vision for a profitable business without sacrificing my own personal values, I want to utilize my knowledge of sustainability. I put to use many of the concepts I got out of an entrepreneurship class [MANG350 Sustainable Strategies for Entrepreneurs] I took last semester here at LHU," says Walstrom.
“In the class I learned about how I might gain a competitive edge by including resource efficient ideas into my business that would benefit my business, my customers, and also have less of a negative impact on the environment. Things like reducing energy consumption by using high efficiency lighting and heating for the facility, recycling materials products to reduce waste and even using rainwater collection systems. Sustainability is not a hard concept it just takes creativity to apply it to your industry. It is something that can unite businesses for a greater good rather than tear them apart. That is a value I picked up in my semester of MANG350."
System-wide, a total of 236 students submitted business ideas in the competition. Of those entries, 49 business venture profiles were selected as semi-finalists.
The final round of 25 finalists was selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Michael Gildea, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Angel Network; Pam Martin, Director, South Central Region, Ben Franklin Technology Partners; James Steeley, Assistant Vice President Finance, Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union (PSECU) Finesse Cobb, Vice President, Apparel, Inc.; and Michael March, Analyst, Osage Venture Partners.
The PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition Awards Ceremony was held April 2, in the East Wing Rotunda of The Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg. Competition judge Michael Gildea, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Angel Network awarded Tyler certificate as Student Finalist. Lock Haven University President Michael Fiorentino Jr. was in attendance, as was PASSHE Chancellor John C. Cavanaugh. Dr. Cori Myers and Dr. Marcia Kurzynski, LHU Business Administration faculty and co-directors of the LHU Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, also attended the ceremony as representatives of Lock Haven University.
Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degrees and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.