FastTrack Participants

Dylan Gragg FastTrack

Name: Dylan Gragg

Bio: I am a senior at Appalachian State University with a major in Business Management. I really enjoy the great outdoors and doing activities like kayaking and hiking. I also enjoy building connections with people and participating in social events where I am able to meet and connect with new people. I plan to graduate in the Spring of 2017.
Problem: Each year, 20 billion shoes are made along with 300 million shoes ending up in the landfill. The shoe industry faces another problem that is shoes are being made in sweatshops under harsh conditions. These problems are 100% avoidable while also remaining eco-friendly and sustainable.

Why: I am very passionate about Stitches Footwear because major shoe companies are making a large profit off the sweat and hard work from the employees of these sweatshops. Along with the hard work, these companies are harming the environment with the waste and harmful products that come from making the shoes. I also plan to give back 10% profit to charities so that I can help those who truly need the help.
Solution: Stitches Footwear will fight these sweatshops and environmentally harmful shoe companies by offering an espadrille style of shoe that is eco-friendly and also one that is not made in sweatshops. The style of shoe chosen by Stitches Footwear is a light, hand-stitched, authentic shoe that consumers will know for being a trustworthy source for a sustainable shoe. 

Jordana Lehmann

Name: Jordana Inez Lehmann

Bio: Jordana I. Lehmann, a student at Appalachian State University, studies Sustainable Technology with a minor in Sustainable Business. Her overarching philosophy of sustainability focuses her ambition toward expanding these industries, including solar, building science, and transportation, with a purely market-based approach. She looks forward to starting multiple businesses.

Problem: The current transportation system fails our environment, our selves, and our relationship with countries worldwide. Additionally, mountainous terrain drives many away from bicycling at all.

Why: E-Bikes, I believe, increasingly reduce the generation of greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion, and will better many unhealthy sedentary lifestyles.

Solution: We will create and sell accessible, user-friendly, technologically advanced electric bicycles and/or drive components.

Joe Hanna

Name: Joseph R. Hanna

Bio: In 2015, I moved from Myrtle Beach, SC to Blowing Rock, NC to help run my family’s 98 year old oriental rug and antique business. After a year living in Blowing Rock and running the business, I decided to challenge myself and enroll in the MBA program at Appalachian State University, where I can expand my knowledge of business and entrepreneurship. I am currently at Appalachian State in the 1 year accelerated MBA program with a concentration in International Business. When I am not in school or working, I enjoy the outdoors and motivating others to strive for their goals.

Problem: Many people struggle to find the confidence and drive to accomplish their dreams and aspirations. Much of this comes from the negative environment in which they live or the inability to think positively when a negative experience presents itself to them.

Solution: Utilizing the talents of aspiring designers and artists, the company will attempt to motivate and inspire others by producing merchandise with originality and unique designs. With the use of marketing and advertising, the company will strive to assist other aspiring professionals display their work and talents.

Austin McCall

Name: Austin McCall

Bio:  I am a senior working towards a Bachelors of Science in Recreation Management. I grew up in a small town family that instilled the values of hard work and integrity. I've applied those values to nearly every aspect of my life throughout college. I grew up with a lot of experience in firearms sports and as a result I aspire to enter a career in firearms sports and sales.

Problem: Currently many Americans don't have ready access to recreational firearms sports unless they have a membership to a club, own a lot of land, or pay outrageous prices for access to a limited array of ranges that are typically sub-par. 

Solution: I intend to create a recreational business with a comprehensive and high quality array of over a dozen firearms ranges for participants to shoot handguns, rifles, shotguns, and armalite style rifles in a safe and responsible setting. I also intend to incorporate licensed firearms dealer and gunsmith amenities as to offer a wide variety of revenue in order to keep prices for participants low and very reasonably accessible. 

Paul Matney

Name: Paul Matney

Bio: Since my arrival at Appalachian State University as a freshman in 2014, I have enjoyed every aspect of the campus and of Boone culture. As a Junior Management major with a minor in Sustainable Business, I have made every effort to expand my network through getting involved with organizations such as AIESEC, Appalachian Student Entrepreneurs, Lyric, and the REI.  Although I am really passionate about sustainable business and management I am also a musician and I love to play tennis. 

Problem: People and musicians alike have melodies in their head that they would like to turn into songs, however most them do not have the technical capabilities or the ear to do so.  

Solution: An intuitive note recognition application for mobile phones that allows users to create multi-track song recordings with real instrument sounds from the notes they sing into the microphone. 

Ian Nabors

Name: Ian Nabors

Bio: I consider myself and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for photography and cinematography. I strongly believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. 

Problem: I want to solve the problem of students using an unsafe and disorganized system to arrange student 'beepers.'

Why: I want to solve this problem because I will sleep better at night knowing we have helped students get home safe. 

Solution: By creating a more organized, safer way to connect drivers with passengers. 

Gabby Khoury

Name: Gabby Khoury

Bio: From Greenville, NC to Boone, I have enjoyed my 21 years playing tennis, traveling, and building relationships.  I am a senior Marketing major who loves working with people and coming up with ideas. I find great value in exposing myself to different cultures and hope to touch ground on each continent in my lifetime (I’ve hit 3). 

Problem: People have the ability and want to give back, but are unfamiliar with what specific organization fits their time, schedule, and skillset best.

Solution: To create a web-based platform that connects the two parties: the volunteers and the recipients.  

Brad Steed

Name: Brad Steed

Bio: Fall of 2013 I found myself at Appalachian State University after moving from Raleigh, NC. I have played/play in a few music groups and have found this little valley in the mountains to be the perfect place to grow into the person I want to be. I have always considered/pushed myself to be a renaissance man so while my major is Health Care Management, my interests expand much further; including the realm of entrepreneurship. 

Problem: I want to solve the problem of students using an unsafe and disorganized system to arrange student 'beepers.'

Why: I want to solve this problem because I will sleep better at night knowing we have helped students get home safe. 

Solution: By creating a more organized, safer way to connect drivers with passengers. 

Michael Fouts

Name: Michael Fouts

Bio: I’m a sophomore finance major and supply chain management minor from Winston-Salem! Since coming to Appalachian State last fall, I’ve been involved as an officer in Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, as an active member of the Association of Student Entrepreneurs, and as a vendor in the student-ran store Bootstrapps. In my free time, I love to go hiking and fishing.

Problem: In an industry dominated by outsourced companies, college communities lack a local alternative to providing custom apparel for their business or student organization. A disconnect to the consumer’s needs is becoming more apparent in the apparel printing industry.

Solution: Summit Outfitters provides custom-printed apparel, providing local student ambassadors in different college communities to ensure design clarity between us and the consumer, giving a tailored printing experience according to the consumer’s needs.

Chasen Bettinger

Name: Chasen Bettinger

Bio: I am a Junior at Appalachian State University, studying Computer Information Systems and Supply Chain Management. I love working with technology, specifically Android development and would love to live in NYC.

Problem: Country clubs have a convoluted point of sale system creating systematic problems within the club.

Why: I want the employees of a country club to establish a more personal relationship with the members. 
Solution: Develop a point of sale application specifically for mobile devices.

Dale Yarborough

Name: Dale Yarborough

Bio: In 2015 I decided to transfer to Appalachian State University to pursue Computer Information Systems and Computer Science. I am a telemetry programmer, and website developer for Appalachian State University’s Solar Car Team. I love playing with VR and AR technology and attending hackathons around the country.

Problem: Students and professionals lack an environment for fully immersive education.

Solution: We strive to offer creative solutions for individuals looking to professionally and personally develop themselves in a fully immersive VR and AR learning platform.  

Spenser Rose

Name: Spenser Rose

Bio: I’m an International Business student. Came back in August from China, India and Taiwan.

Problem: Education is dull, especially with all this technology competing for attention.

Why: Education is terribly important, especially critical thinking when dealing with all the information at your fingertips.

Solution: Use VR to make lessons for otherwise dull subjects interesting for the majority of learners.

Name: Robert W. Purcell III

Bio: In the Fall of 2013 I took my talents to the town of Boone from Asheville, NC. From founding Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, to running around campus seeding product as a Red Bull Student Brand Manager, Appalachian State has been nothing but good to me. As a senior in the Walker College of Business, I am a marketing and management double major concentrated in entrepreneurial studies. I like flying drones and powder days. 

Problem: Startups and existing companies lack story driven content and digital marketing strategy to remain relevant to millennial consumers in today's ever changing digital space.

Solution: We strive to offer creative solutions to clients through a variety of tailored strategies with a focus on progressive aerial cinematography, SEO, and custom content marketing solutions.

Josh Smith

Name: Josh Smith

Bio: I am a graphic designer and entrepreneur. I am a freshman here at ASU, majoring in graphic design. In high school, I started doing my own freelance work that I have expanded over the years along with my skills as a designer. Over the summer, I sold products on Amazon through FBA.

Problem: ASU Laundry will address a time management problem and provide a service that frees student’s minds for extra educational endeavors and more important pursuits. 

Why: To replace the task of sitting around waiting for your clothes to finish with time to dedicate to more important pursuits. 

Solution: Creating a service to pick up, wash & dry, fold and deliver laundry back to students.

Eric Schlicher

Name: Eric Schlicher

Bio: I am a freshman at Appalachian State University looking to major in business. Currently I work online selling multiple products/brands through Amazons FBA program. I am also working with fasttrack on developing ASU Laundry, a subscription based laundry service to help free time and alleviate stress for busy college students. 

Problem: ASU laundry will address a time management problem and provide a service that frees student’s minds for extra educational endeavors and more important pursuits.

Why: ASU laundry strives to alleviate the hassle of doing laundry by providing students with a "hands off" laundry experience and to enjoy life more often.

Solution: Creating a service to pick up, wash & dry, fold and deliver laundry back to students. 

Matthe Kay FastTrack

Name: Matthew Kay

Bio: Hailing from Raleigh, NC; I've been fortunate enough to call Boone home since the fall of 2013. In the last few years I've worked on a variety of different freelance web design and marketing gigs for different clients. I enjoy spending my free time seeking out cold brew coffee at whatever coffee shops I visit and writing down too many things in my notepad.

Problem: Small businesses have a hard time doing digital marketing well. Whether it's the amount time of seeking out a freelancer, or the cost of working with a large big city agency - many business owners that I regularly speak with have identified this problem as a major pain

Solution: By systemizing and productizing a variety of digital marketing offerings I hope to make it both easier for potential clients to hire and also more frictionless for creatives to complete work.