Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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August 7, 2011

Student businesses rewarded for innovation

GOSHEN — Seven Goshen College business students who have created their own businesses have been rewarded with entrepreneurship grants to encourage them to develop their skills further.

The GC Business Department’s grants total $27,500.

Each of the seven businesses that received funding presented the Business Department with a business plan and demonstrated a passion for their business, knowledge and skill in their fields, an understanding of their market, and a likelihood of long-term success, according to Goshen College officials.

GC officials said the funds for the grants were part of a larger external grant that the Business Department received a few years ago and which has now ended. According to Michelle Horning, professor of accounting and chair of the Business Department, the department intends to continue to award entrepreneurship grants annually, though most likely on a smaller scale.

The seven student-owned businesses are:

Studio Ace of Spade is a print and Web design firm owned by Jon Savage, a senior business and information systems major from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Simon Birky-Hartmann, a 2009 Goshen alumnus. Savage and Birky-Hartmann established their studio in October 2010, combining their talents in art, graphic design, management and technology. Studio Ace of Spade offers services from bottom-up branding to Web development and design.

The company’s website is www.studioaceofspade.com.

Reimagine Cinema is a video production company owned by Jacob Landis-Eigsti, a senior communication and theater major from Lakewood, Colo. Reimagine Cinema is dedicated to creating unique, exciting, professional music videos and short films. The Indiana Association of School Broadcasters named Landis-Eigsti’s videos as the best in the state, and the Broadcast Education Association recently awarded his music video, “Beautiful,” the second best college music video in the nation for 2011. Reimagine Cinema’s videos are on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.

ResQ Records is a music production and publishing company specializing in Afrofusion music, owned by Idris Busari, a junior broadcasting and public relations major from Nigeria. The company has recently produced and released Afrofusion, Volume 2. Busari explained Afrofusion to be the expression of the African spiritual substance fused with hip-hop, soul and R&B influences.

Busari’s interest in music making began long before he came to United States, soon after he graduated high school in Nigeria when he started a singing group with his friends. Though the group didn’t stay together for long, Busari’s love for music stayed with him through the years until he came to the United States.

After recording his first album from his bedroom in 2008, he registered his record label in the United States. Now, he is searching for a manager and is promoting his music by establishing an online presence. The company and its studio are based in Goshen.

More information about ResQ Records and its music can be found on its Facebook page, “Omogo & the ResQ Ranjazz Family.”

Cultural Ventures LCC is owned by Niles Graber Miller, a first-year business major from Goshen, and Hans Weaver, a sophomore business major from New Holland, Pa. The business’ latest venture is brewing and bottling Menno Tea, an iced tea recipe that is modeled after a favorite family recipe. The tea is made from all locally grown, organic and fair trade ingredients.

Menno Tea has been sold at Java Junction, Goshen College’s student-run coffee shop, but the owners are looking to expand. The company’s website is at www.mennotea.com.

Ras Photo Studio is owned by Abi Tsigie, a junior art major from Ethiopia. In addition to digital color photography, the studio specializes in black and white photography and also has an experimental laboratory, collecting and experimenting with old, film-based cameras. Ras Photo Studio is available for weddings, portraits, graduations, fashion photography and a variety of other celebrations.

“I didn’t know it then, but Ras Studio started when I was about 13 years old when I discovered my fathers’ old Zenith (a 35mm film camera he bought during the ’70s) stashed in storage,” said Tsigie. “Shortly after the discovery, I was given the chance to play with the camera, and since then, my passion for images grew continuously!”

Although Tsigie has moved on to using up-to-date digital cameras, his experience with his father’s Zenith sparked an interest in experimenting with vintage cameras.

Although Ras Photo Studio is located in Goshen, the studio’s customer database is not limited to the Michiana region. It also has customers in Indianapolis, Chicago, and internationally in Ethiopia (to which the studio made two recent trips for a freelancing project). Internationally, Ras Studio is working on opening a branch in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2012.

To view Tsigie’s photography, go to www.behance.net/AbiTsigie, or visit Ras Studio’s Facebook page.

NGM Designs, owned by Niles Graber Miller, a first-year business major from Goshen, creates advertising space for local businesses on vintage vehicles. Businesses are promised a certain amount of exposure as the van is driven around town and parked in visible locations. Graber Miller began his business a year ago with hand-painted advertisements for 14 local businesses on a 1970 Volkswagen van.

“It’s been generating a lot of excitement when people see it,” said Graber Miller. “It definitely draws looks — people turn their heads while they’re driving or walking down the sidewalk. That’s fun to see, because that’s the purpose, getting people to look and check out these businesses.”

The business recently purchased a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle, has converted it to run exclusively on electricity and is now selling advertising space on it as well. For more information, visit NGM Designs’ website at sites.google.com/site/ngmdesigns/

Entertaining Angels is a music business started by William Frisbie, a sophomore accounting major and business minor from Goshen. Entertaining Angels focuses on assisting positive artists with their recording needs, and provides lighting and sound for a range of events, such as concerts and weddings. The company’s studio is located in Goshen. For more information, visit the business’s website at www.3ckonline.com.

 

Alysha Landis of Goshen College prepared this article.

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