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Fearless Entrepreneur Travis Hoffman
Fearless Entrepreneur Travis Hoffman

 

Young PSU entrepreneurs can look to accomplished Travis Hoffman for inspiration. When he’s not busy with work or classes, Travis finds time to work on his start-up business, Appitimer, for which he recently won a competition.

Read the full interview on our Fearless Business Blog!

 

What are some of your favorite parts about the entrepreneur certificate program?

I think it gives you a good, well-rounded idea of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I think that the entrepreneur class especially was really informative on all aspects of [entrepreneurship]. It’s just fun, really.

Can you tell me a little bit about the e-club?

The e-club, it’s the entrepreneurship club here on campus. I went there in winter during their explorer event, and I just had no idea that they had a club that was dedicated to entrepreneurship. I think of it like a tool kit. You go there with a question and if they can’t give you an answer they’ll point you in the right direction. I think that’s a really great asset for any person who has any entrepreneurial aspirations.

I also saw that you were involved in some sort of contest. Could you tell me more?

I won the Battle of the Start-Ups, which is the year finale of everything. It’s really cool, you’ve already won it within your class, and now you get to step it up a little bit more. You put a lot more work in within just a couple weeks, and just go for it. It’s a pitch competition basically, with a PowerPoint and a one-page business summary. You pitch it to the judges like they’re investors, like if you’re really going to start a business.

Have you started your new business?  

I’m in the start-up stage. My idea was a kitchen app that synchronizes your kitchen processes as you’re cooking and meal-planning with a special aspect of timing, taking the timing trial and error out of it. Right now, I’m in the very early development stages.

What’s been one of your favorite memories or experiences through the PSU School of Business entrepreneurship program?

Probably winning that competition, that was really cool. Working within the entrepreneurship class, I think I had really good experiences too. It was cool to get feedback every single day from every single student in the class. We had these notecards and there’s a plus on one side and a minus on the other, what you’re doing good and what you can improve on. Having that feedback from the class I thought was a cool experience.

How has the PSU School of Business helped you to become a stronger entrepreneur?

Ushering me in the right direction, and support. All of the instructors are awesome. That sounds kind of corny, but they really are.

How do you think that PSU and this program in particular has really helped you to set you on the right path?

Directly, the coursework definitely sets you up for success. And within the classes, there’s lots of networking that goes on and those connections are really important as well. It kind of breaches the difference between academia and the real business world.

Do you have any advice to give to future PSU School of Business entrepreneurs?

Any opportunity that you have to pitch, take it. Because practicing, and in front of multiple audiences ­- you’ve got to do it. And if you face something that becomes difficult, just hit it head on. I keep hearing this a lot about entrepreneurs, that they’re “jacks or jills of all trades, master of none,” and that’s so true. You have to be a little bit good at lots of stuff. Just become comfortable with being uncomfortable all the time. If you do that, then you know you’re in the right place.

What does it mean to you to be fearless?

Fearless to me means going off the path and just making your own, and believing in yourself when no one else does. I didn’t win all of the competitions in that class. There were many that I was probably in last place and it’s hard getting that criticism, but if you just keep persevering you’ll get there.

 

To learn more about the entrepreneurship certificate, the e-club, and other activities at the School of Business, just click the following link: http://www.pdx.edu/sba/entrepreneurship-certificate

~Mckenzie Miller ’15, Fearless Business Student