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SBDC Helps Student Entrepreneur Reel in Customers

by on May 08, 2016 6:00 AM

Vaughn Holderman's lures may bring in the fish with ease, but responding to a sudden demand on his business — Chasing Trophy Fish — became a challenge. That's when he turned to the Penn State Small Business Development Center.

Literally, the SBDC gave me the confidence at a moment where I was struggling to keep up with everything,” Holderman said. “It was nice to know they were there for me.”

The Penn State SBDC offers entrepreneurs free services to evaluate business plans, provide market research and clarify regulations specific to businesses in Pennsylvania.

According to the Penn State SBDC Annual Impact Report, in 2015 its staff:

■ Assisted 156 new clients, including 116 student entrepreneurs

■ Secured $7.5 million in financing

■ Started 29 businesses

■ Sent 17 new products to market

■ Organized 100 events for Global Entrepreneurship Week at Penn State

Holderman, like many Penn State students, launched his business while at University Park. He contacted Jennifer Riden, business consultant for the Penn State SBDC, when he realized he could not keep up with the demand by himself.

I was able to connect Vaughn to resources for student entrepreneurs, on and off campus,” Riden said.

She worked with him to find contacts for shipping large quantities, storage for his inventory and quiet rooms where he could hold meetings.

We also advise clients about financing options, their business structure and support team,” Riden said.

Holderman’s business continues to grow. He has been endorsed by Kevin Harrington from ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a reality show for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch investors, and currently has deals to sell his merchandise with Amazon.com, Tacklehound.com and Tackledirect.com.

For more information, visit the Penn State SBDC's website, .

 

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