“I came to Startup Vikes, pitched an idea and built a team”

Chase Brownfield, 27, Zainesville, OH Quality Engineer found out about Start Up Vikes from friend (Corey Walker) came to work two hours early so he could leave two hours early to come up.

Corey Walker, 26, Mechanical Engineer, Masters Student in Mechanical Engineering at CSU. Originally found out about the event from a coworker. Originally going to be on his coworker’s team but then found out he wasn’t able to due to company restrictions.

Corey Walker, 26, a masters student in the mechanical engineering program at Cleveland State, decided to reach out to his friend Chase Brownfield, 27, of Zainesville, to see if he would be interested in partnering with him. Chase, who also has a background in engineering, agreed and came to work two hours early Friday morning so he could leave early and make the drive up to Cleveland for the event. Neither one of them were sure what to expect coming in.

“We started seriously talking about this becoming a company maybe a few weeks ago. We were just a few friends talking over some beers, bouncing ideas off of each other and now we’re trying to see if this can actually work,” said Chase.

Corey said they came in having an idea that they thought could be a company and he and Chase saw the weekend as an opportunity to mingle, network, and see what steps are needed to bring their idea to life.

Some participants were nervous recruiting complete strangers to join their team but not Chase and Corey. Chase thought it was exciting while Corey felt the process was a bit chaotic, almost like superheroes going to battle. He said the most stressful part was seeing the other teams get filled up.

“About 75 percent of the people here were pitching ideas and we knew no one wanted to give up on their ideas. We were one of the last teams to get filled but we really felt passionate about our idea and decided to just go for it and really sell it,” said Corey.

One of the mentors suggested that they pair up with another team but Corey and Chase wanted to stick with their original concept.

“We felt strongly about it so we knew if we could find some people who were knowledgeable in different subject matters, we knew we could get them on board.”

They succeeded and recruited enough participants to keep competing with their idea. They both said the experience has been a great opportunity and they have already registered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) so they can continue to work on their company after StartUp Vikes finishes.