Taking the Next Step
In 2008, Ellsworth registered for the Venture Center’s E-Seed entrepreneurship training program, which included courses on business legal structures, marketing, market research and analysis, customer relations, product pricing, and business finance.
“The next step was to make glasses, but I couldn’t find manufacturers in the United States,” she says. “I read about the Fab Lab at FVTC and used it to develop a 3-D image of what I wanted the glasses to look like.”
After a year-long search, Ellsworth connected with a manufacturer. “The frames are made overseas, and everything is tested in the United States,” she says. Ellsworth added that the books are made locally by RR Donnelley. The company prints her books from its Greenville, Wis., facility, in addition to packaging, warehousing, kitting, and shipper services for Peeps Eyewear. The girls’ line, called Princess Peeps, includes two designs: a classic frame and a pink, sparkly princess frame. Ellsworth also is developing a line for boys.
Last year, Ellsworth entered her business plan in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and earned first place in the competition’s Business Services division. In August, Ellsworth began selling her product line with University of Wisconsin Health Optical and Wink Optical in Lincoln Park, Ill. “If it wasn’t for FVTC’s Venture Center, I wouldn’t be this far along,” Ellsworth says. “The tools and resources it provided were instrumental in getting my business off the ground. And I had a technical team behind me with the college’s Fab Lab.”
And, Ellsworth adds, this is only the start. “I want my glasses to be available to children throughout the country,” she says. “I hope that when children get their first pair of glasses, they will walk out excited to be wearing them.”
Ellsworth’s goal to make Peeps Eyewear frames accessible to children throughout the U.S. took another step closer to reality when she recently landed a partnership with Wisconsin Vision, a large Midwest optical, eye exam, eyeglass, and contact lens provider with 27 locations in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois. Her products are available in Wisconsin Vision select boutiques and all store locations. “We want to change the way children wear glasses,” says Ellsworth.
When Fox Valley Technical College offered a Bridge to Entrepreneurship and Business course for 14 ELL (English Language Learner) students representing a range of countries, they all quickly learned the basics of starting a business in the United States or in their homelands.
“We’re trying to encourage our students to look at entrepreneurship as a viable choice,” says Caethe Brockman, an instructor in FVTC’s Entrepreneurship and Marketing program. “With this class, we wanted to develop a product, so the students could better understand entrepreneurship.”
That product was an aluminum water bottle with lettering that was laser-etched in FVTC’s Fab Lab, with proceeds going to Kiva, an online microlending bank that helps support entrepreneurs worldwide. “The students developed a timeline and pricing, did some marketing, determined expenses and profits, and assessed areas of improvement,” Brockman says. They gave their profits to four businesses in Kenya, Peru, Cambodia and Pakistan.
Students from Fox Valley Technical College’s Fab Lab Club designed and built a donor wall ...
Annual residential site build gives home construction students the opportunity to practice ...
The Multicultural Student Services team at Fox Valley Technical College helped guide students ...
Read the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students and alumni in Engineering, Accounting, Banking & Finance and much more.
For high school groups who want to experience a different type of learning environment.
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 9-10:30 a.m., Oshkosh Riverside Campus | Learn about the challenges leaders and professionals face and how to handle them
Ariens Co. will be on campus | Wednesday, Sept. 28
College Closed for Labor Day
Fire Service Suicide Prevention Training of Trainers
For Fire Service Trainers | Wednesday, September 7, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., FVTC Public Safety Training Center
On Campus: Lakeland College
Featuring: Finding Dory and X-men: Apocalypse
(9/12/2016 11:30 AM)
(9/12/2016 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM)
(9/13/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
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On Campus: UW Oshkosh
Thinking of transferring to UW Oshkosh?
(9/15/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(9/15/2016 11:30 AM)
(9/15/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM)
FVTC Promise Info Session - Oshkosh
Oshkosh Riverside Campus, Sept. 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m. | We're pleased to announce the FVTC Promise Scholarship, a program designed to bring a college education within the reach of those who could not otherwise afford it. Learn more at this public information session.
(9/20/2016 8:30 AM - 1:20 PM)
(9/20/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(9/20/2016 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM)
(9/21/2016 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM)
(9/21/2016 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(9/21/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM)
On Campus: Herzing University
Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?
Dell Technical Group On Campus Recruitment
Dell Technical Group will be on campus | Monday, Sept. 26
(9/27/2016 - 9/28/2016)
(9/27/2016 9:00 AM)
(9/27/2016 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM)
(9/27/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM)
(9/27/2016 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM)
(9/27/2016 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM)
(9/28/2016 9:00 AM)
(9/28/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(9/29/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(9/29/2016 11:30 AM)
Manufacturing Career Expo
Manufacturing Career Expo, in partnership with Miller Electric Mfg. Co. | Friday, September 30
(10/3/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
(10/4/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM)
(10/4/2016 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM)
(10/4/2016 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)
(10/4/2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM)
Faculty Day - No Classes
Dangers of Social Media
Learn how to navigate and manage the apps that are most popular among youth today.