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    UW College of Business Ellbogen $30K Winner - Cruxx Climbing

    May 26, 2015

    By: Tabitha Briscoe

    What you need to know about me

    My name is Tabitha Briscoe and I would like to start this blog post by saying that the problem with people is that they stand in their own way of success. I hate self-doubt. Where’s the ambition for greatness? You are absolutely capable of everything and anything. We will never have this kind of youth, time, energy, or resources available to us again. So follow your dreams and stop wasting time already. You only live once and it shouldn’t be behind the desk of a job you are only mildly interested in.

    So, moving on. About myself. I am a former UW athlete, a talented artist, an Accounting major and a rock climber. Previous to entering the Ellbogen 30k I did a variety of entrepreneurial things, but never anything large scale. I also love climbing. As anyone who has gotten into the sport would know, it’s addicting and wonderful. Not easy, but satisfying nonetheless.

    How I got involved in the Ellbogen 30K

    When I saw the posters for the Ellbogen 30k, the competition immediately sparked my interest. I didn’t have a business idea, or a product concept going into those first few meetings, but I knew I could come up with something great. My initial idea was to make a business centered on climbing. So, going from there, I got to work thinking of as many great climbing related things that I could think of. Then, after completely failing my little brainstorming session, I turned to Instagram instead. Absentmindedly scrolling through the selfies I came across a picture of my friend lying in the dirt. She had gotten turtled. Knocked onto her back while carrying a large crash pad, she couldn’t get up. It was hilarious. For anyone who doesn’t know, crash pads are large foam rectangles that you put on the ground to protect yourself from a fall when you are Bouldering. Bouldering is a short height style of climbing, (typically under 10 feet) that is very strength and skill intensive and requires no ropes or other safety gear besides a crash pad.

    It was as if the most perfect business idea had jumped into my lap and slapped me in the face. A better kind of crash-pad. The ones on the market are huge, bulky, and inconvenient. I could absolutely make a better one! So, I got to work on it. Thanks to the Internet I was able to learn everything I needed to know to get my Business Concept worked out for the first rounds of the competition. I became an experts on foams. I gathered information from distributors on standard industry size and cost tiers. I was able to uncover data on the market size, my future completion, etc. By submission time for the competition my Business Plan was strong. From there everything moved very quickly. The next rounds of the 30k came and went, I edited, did my homework, worked my job at 30 hours a week, ate Almanzas, edited some more and daydreamed about getting a good night’s sleep.

    The competition

    During the competition, I was assigned a mentor to help guide me through the competition and teach me about starting and running a business. My mentor was Corey Billington and he taught me more relevant business knowledge in our hour long meetings than I could ever learn in a semester long University course. I was able to apply a lean-startup method to gett things rolling with Cruxx, I was able to investigate Kickstarter strategies, work with a Chinese distribution agent, set Cruxx up with a website, conduct a market-specific survey, and post actual products up for sale. All of this within a period of a few months. Before the final rounds of the competition began, I had a viable business selling chalk-bags, beanies, and shirts all over the country. I also had gathered all of the sample material to make and test a small prototype of the crash-pad.

    On the final day of the Competition, I came ready to win.

    And so, I did.

    Where Cruxx Climbing is headed

    From here on out Cruxx Climbing is going to be working on getting our products stocked and posted online, creating and field testing a large sized prototype of the crash-pad, and developing our infrastructure so that it can support our future launch into market. I’m so excited to be able to utilize the knowledge and resources available to me at the Business Incubator here in town. I also can’t wait to put the funds that I won straight into the business’s account to help pay for inventory costs and prototype development.

    Overall, Cruxx Climbing has so much potential to be successful within the climbing community, but, in my mind, having potential isn’t good enough. I look forward to putting in the time and effort that this business need to get big. A Crux, by its definition, is the hardest part of a problem or situation. By participating in this competition and having the guts to get this business started, I’ve already taken that first big step. The hardest part is already over and there is absolutely nothing that can stand in my way.

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    Thanks for reading and comment below if you have questions about Cruxx or the Ellbogen 30K Competition.