Student entrepreneurs are thriving at Chapman University. With resources like the Leatherby Center for Entrepeneurship and the eVillage, Argyros School students are exposed to a host of opportunities and valuable resources outside of the classroom. In addition to seminars, distinguished speakers, and mentoring programs, the Leatherby Center hosts two business plan competitions annually – the Chapman University Business Plan Competition and California Dreamin’. The Chapman University Business Plan Competition allows the best teams of student entrepreneurs at Chapman to compete amongst each other, and California Dreamin’ invites the best teams of student entrepreneurs from universities across the nation to compete for seed capital.
We interviewed the winning team of the Chapman Business Plan competition, SWAV apparel, who will represent Chapman at the national California Dreamin’ competition. SWAV Apparel team members are Anthony Ferraro, Navin Khetarpal, and Jeri Luhtanen.
1) In the last month, SWAV has won two business plan competitions. What do you attribute your wins, too?
First, the SWAV team. From top down, management to interns, everyone played a significant role in our win Friday. We have a passionate and hardworking team that is willing to sacrifice their time to get the job done. Without them, we could not have won
Second, our advisors Marilyn Stemper, Ora Villaobos, Chris Buckstein and all open resources in the Incubator who continually give us advice on our business plan.
2) What have you learned from the two business plan competitions?
There are opportunities to receive money other than finding investors or paying out of pocket. Also a great way to practice your pitch and get honest feedback from real investors.
3) What are your plans after the California Dreamin’ competition?
Work on our pitch and slide deck, and come with some clever ways to bring excitement and energy because we know our product will be different from our competition. We plan to put emphasis on the strength of branding and the investment opportunity we are proposing. Our business is ready for launch and with this capital, we will takeoff even faster.
4) Where do you hope to see SWAV in the next year?
We hope to have SWAV thriving online in not only sales but outreach with our demographic and build our relationships with early customers. Appear in higher end retail stores where we can sell our product exclusively. Promote and build our brand organically, prove the market demand for our unique product and find a strategic partner who is interested to invest in our opportunity.
SWAV will be available to be purchased after we launch online on our website, www.swavapparel.com, online flash sale sites such as Jack Threads, and select boutique retailers. We will also begin our campus ambassador program, starting at Chapman, and will be selling at events off Paypal square card readers. Retail price for the SWAV Luxury Performance 1.0 is 24.90, but will also be offered at promotional prices upon launch for a special $20. We also look to expand to socks and undershirts that are designed.
To learn more about SWAV, please visit their website at http://www.swavapparel.com. To learn more about the Leatherby Center of Entrepeneurship and its business plan competitions, please visit www.chapman.edu/launch. Additional Reporting by Sheri Ledbetter.