Business Bootcamp a chance to refine ideas for a creative career

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Monday, November 29th, 2021

A business plan that lives only in your head can sometimes kind of get stuck there:
Where to begin?
PCA&D’s recent Business Bootcamp worked to fill out some of those ideas, get them down on paper, and push them a few steps closer to reality.
Led by PCA&D instructor Holly Mosher, the full-day Business Bootcamp was open to both current students and alumni, and was geared toward those pursuing creative careers.
“Business can apply to any field of study,”  Mosher said before the event. Knowing how to evaluate, retool, launch, and follow through on your own business plan is an invaluable lesson no matter the field you’re entering.
For participants, getting a clearer vision of pursuing their goals was key to the day’s success.
“It was nice talking about (my plan) to someone else,” says Graphic Design major Austin Taylor ’24. His idea — a custom wrap shop where he can make vehicle graphics and designs for companies and individuals — now has “a better game plan,” he says.
Photography & Video major Rachel O’Brien’s idea combines entrepreneurship with philanthropy, a combination she says speaks to her experience. “My business would make blankets and for every blanket we sold, we would give one to a homeless person completely for free so they don’t have to worry about being cold,” the junior says.  “I grew up around Philly and since now, living in Lancaster, I’ve always seen the homeless population out on the streets.”
After Business Bootcamp, O’Brien says, “I know more now about what things I need to do in order to get my idea off the ground.”
The day wasn’t just lectures and worksheets, though. It required active participation from students and alumni in attendance, with presentations and a lot of back-and-forth with presenters.

It was also, if they chose, a chance for participants to “swim with the sharks” by pitching their ideas and business plans to a panel of experts, much like the hit television show “Shark Tank.”


Instructor Holly Mosher leads Business Bootcamp participants in a self-study of their plans.

Our thanks to those experts:

Melisa Baez, whose passion lies in creating social change through business and education. A Cordes Fellow focused on global social issues, she serves on the Board of Directors for Lancaster County Community Foundation and sits on the diversity committee for Girls on the Run. She earned her MBA in Sustainability from Bard.

Kirk Barrett, a longtime entrepreneur who has made his mark in both the brick-and-mortar and virtual worlds. He has built the 911 system for Lancaster County, a number of the state government and visitors’ bureaus’ portals, Clipper magazine’s Local Flavor platform, and the country’s first mobile-only bank platform.

Madison DeWispelaere, creative director at Attolla Prep, designs and implements marketing and social media campaigns. She also leads the Attolla Startup 12-week entrepreneurship program, website development and management, graphic design, photography, and videography.

Diana Diehl, PCC, SPHR, has more than 35 years experience in management, human resources, leadership consulting, and coaching. A graduate of Penn State and the Leadership Coaching Program at Georgetown University, she is certified through the International Coach Federation as a Professional Certified Coach.

Mara Modovan, a graduate of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, has worked for companies across various industries, from fashion and automotive to military contractors, and in startups to large corporations.

Patrick Quinlan, a PCA&D instructor and longtime member of the faculty at Adrian College in Michigan. He has extensive experience teaching courses in Principles of Marketing, Sales Management, Advertising and Promotion Management, Consumer Behavior, and Marketing Research.

Sandra Strunk, co-founder of Meraki Enterprises LLC consulting firm, has done consulting work with the U.S and Pennsylvania departments of education, served as Executive Director of the Lancaster County STEM Alliance and worked more than 25 years for Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 as Director of Community Education and Director of Fund Development.