What happens when college roommates in an entrepreneurship program study into the wee hours of the morning and get hungry? They start a business, of course. A donut business, to be exact, with a name inspired by their university’s battle cry.
“We wanted to do something fun and food-related,“ said Casey Croad, CEO of Ignite Donuts. “We coined the phrase ‘Donut Fridays,’ developed a donut hole and glaze dipping kit, and competed in pitch competitions. We landed a contract as a wholesaler with Central Michigan University. It’s been an amazing journey.”
Along the way Croad and his colleagues met Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) business consultant Jeff Punches in their mentorship class and subsequently as they refined their pitch at the Central Michigan University Research Corporation. Punches asked thought-provoking questions about their business, and provided one-to-one consulting about pitch competition presentation skills, COVID relief funding and cash flow/financial management. Punches also serves as a mentor and sounding board to Croad’s leadership style.
“We’re not in this for personal gain – though every business needs to make money to continue to exist. We choose to hire student managers to teach them about potential career paths and to grow,” said Croad.
Learn more about Ignite Donuts here.