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CBA Alum Kaylon Alexander is On the Ohio MakerBus

08/01/2017

On July 31, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers from all over the nation hopped on busses to begin their first day in the StartUpBus competition, described by some as “Shark Tank on Wheels.” Over the course of three days, buses from around the U.S will drive towards New Orleans. Along the way, riders form teams that must complete a set of challenges as they refine their products and business plans on the road.

Home to several startup incubators, a free MicroBusiness Center, The EXL Center here at The University of Akron, and countless other resources, Akron has become a hotspot for burgeoning entrepreneurs. For the second year in a row, Akron will be sending its own team of entrepreneurs to the StartUpBus competition via the Ohio MakerBus. Unique from other buses in the competition, the MakerBus requires participants to actually build physical prototypes of their products while on the road. As teams make their way to New Orleans, they will visit makerspaces between Ohio and Louisiana, networking, creating, and learning from their peers at each stop.

This year, recent College of Business Administration graduate, Kaylon Alexander, will be taking part in this unique adventure. Kaylon earned his degree in Marketing Management in May 2017, but his experience in the world of business started long before graduation when he started his own clothing company, 24 Karat Posse, with a friend in 2013. “I've always had a thing for pressure and competition,” Kaylon shared. “I think it was growing up in Akron and sports playing a big part in my youth that made me this way. Entrepreneurship can get very competitive and there is a lot of pressure to get things done. That might not sound so appealing to most people but to me – I love it.”

Once on the MakerBus, Kaylon will have the opportunity to either pitch his business to other riders, or contribute his skills to another participant’s vision. On August 3, teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, with the finalists moving on to a final, live-streamed pitch on August 4. While no monetary prize is awarded, the experience, exposure, and networks forged on the 5-day adventure are priceless.

We can’t wait to see what Kaylon and the rest of the StartUpBus teams accomplish and wish Kaylon the best of luck!

Kaylon Alexander