During Denver Startup Week, Meet Some of DU's Entrepreneurs
Each day, in celebration of Denver Startup Week, the DU Newsroom is featuring a Pioneer alum who embodies the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Check back each day to meet someone new!
Names: Maddy (D'Amato) Hasulak and Alex Hasulak
Degrees: BA '08, Sociology; BSBA '08
Company: Love Grown
What it does: What started with granola sales on campus has exploded into a business with eight different product lines and 27 varieties available in more than 11,500 stores. The company's mission is to promote healthier, cleaner foods and instill healthy eating habits in kids.
Quotable: “Love Grown got off the ground on campus, and DU fostered our innovation and entrepreneurship,” Alex says. “Denver is a place that nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit, because you’ve got a lot of like-minded people who are early adopters and are willing to try new products.”
Read more: Alumni Couple Finds Success in Breakfast Biz
Name: Heidi Ganahl
Degree: MA '99, Health Care Administration
Company: Camp Bow Wow
What it does: Based in Boulder, Camp Bow Wow's 110-franchise, 40-state empire provides in-home pet care, training, walking and grooming, among other services. Its Denver location was one of the first doggie daycare to install webcams.
Quotable: “I was always very entrepreneurial as a kid. I always knew I wanted to start my own business, but I didn’t know what it could be. ... I am very passionate and very optimistic. And I am pretty fearless when it comes to business.”
Read more: Dog Days
Name: Sujeeva Ranasinghe
Degree: Executive MBA '13
Company: Senkada Tea
What it does: Meaning "a place of prosperity," Senkada Tea draws on Ranasinghe's Sri Lankan heritage and produces the world's only ozone-friendly tea — naturally grown and free of pesticides.
Quotable: “During the EMBA program, you could see changes moving through Sujeeva’s mind and his perspective. He grew from a follower to a leader with a determined focus to become his own boss." ~Kerry Plemmons, professor of practice, Daniels College of Business
Read more: Steeped in Tradition
Name: Wendy Lu McGill
Degree: MA '12, International and Intercultural Communication
Company: Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch
What it does: Colorado's first and only edible insect farm raises crickets, mealworms and wax worms, which it sells to chefs and food makers around the world.
Quotable: “If you think you want to start a business, prepare yourself for a marathon, surround yourself with smart, respectfully critical and highly engaged supporters, and believe in the gut feelings that are driving you to entrepreneurship.”
Read more: DU Alumna Wendy Lu McGill Creating a Buzz With Edible Insects
Name: Chris Klein
Degree: MBA '08
What it does: The smart sprinkler system plugs into hyperlocal weather forecasts to prevent unnecessary watering. An accompanying smartphone app allows users to adjust watering schedules based on soil type, sun exposure and slope, among other things.
Quotable: “I like big problems. And I like something that is meaningful and could possibly leave this planet in a better place than it was in when I got here.”
Read more: DU Grad Discovers Passion, Success Through Conservation