Spotlight on Student Success

Team Pearlwood Visions

UCC student wins Startup Weekend entrepreneurship competition.

Have you ever had an idea and then said to yourself, “If I could market this idea I could be successful”? In a nutshell, that is what Startup Weekend is all about – taking your idea to market. You bring the idea and present it to your peers. If your idea is chosen, you form a team to help bring it to life. Your team builds a business plan and a presentation. Then, you present your idea to judges who are business leaders. Investors are often in the audience too.

Among this year’s winners was a UCC Computer Information Systems student, Aria Blackwood. Her father, Professor John Blackwood, was one of the winners of the Startup Weekend competition last year. So, you might say Aria had some great entrepreneurial guidance. Her idea was co-developed with KC Perley (former UCC Transfer Opportunity Student) and named ‘Pearlwood Visions’. It’s a nail polish marbling kit that can be applied to any object to give it a new look and purpose.

“The best thing about the whole event was the food and the people that were there to help you along the journey. In the first day, when we made teams, KC Perley and I got really lucky and formed a dream team that worked long and hard to make sure we did our best,” says Aria.

Professor Blackwood recommends the Startup Weekend competition to all of his students. He explains, “They learn skills that must be utilized immediately at the event that are almost impossible to learn via lecture and lab. For example, they have the opportunity to learn: entrepreneurship, teamwork, working under pressure, creativity, problem solving, ability to compromise, desire to help others, civic responsibility, and other skills that are delivered by the coaches such as basic financial knowledge, legal, marketing, and more.”

Aria and her team won 6 months of free office space at the Umpqua Business Center and access to one-on-one meetings with the coaches from Startup Weekend including a lawyer, accountant, graphic artist, and other business consultants.

Photo: Team Pearlwood Visions (top); Credit: Metzler Media


John Blackwood - Contact
Associate Professor, CIS

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