Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.
Jaron Lodge had a knack for sales and an entrepreneurial spirit. This gave him the confidence to focus entirely on business entrepreneurship while at Arizona State University.
Fueled by his experience as one of top five sales representatives in the country and earning second place in a national sales competition at his job in high school, he went all-in on developing his idea for Skip NN' Hole, a pool game bridging skipping stones and cornhole.
Jaron Lodge graduates this May with a bachelor's degree in business entrepreneurship through the W. P. Carey School of Business. He participated in Venture Devils, a program run by the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, that helps ASU students turn their ideas into reality. He participated in several pitch competitions and earned over $23,000 to propel his venture forward. Along with winning pitch competitions, he developed his stone prototypes using a 3D printer at a Makerspace in the ASU Library. Read more about Lodge in this Q&A below.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: The lean startup approach. Class projects and opportunities at ASU provided me with the resources I needed to implement this low-cost method for testing hypotheses and getting feedback from my customers. This allowed me to pivot my business just in time. My Venture Devils mentors and teachers pushed me to think bigger. This encouraged my decision to pivot and expand my product lines into new markets.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: After graduation, I will begin to focus entirely on growing my startup. This summer I will be working with retailers to get my products into thousands of retail stores across the United States. The goal is to continue to build revolutionary businesses that help create value for everyone and ultimately make this world a better place.
Q: What problem does your venture solve?
A: We found that one of the most common problems that we were solving is that in the summer it got too hot to have fun in the backyard. Parents with younger children are looking for a fun new game that they could enjoy playing with their kids while staying cool in the pool. This is an even bigger issue now because more people are staying home and looking for fun things to do together in their backyards due to the pandemic. We reimagined Cornhole and skipping stones into the product, Skip NN' Hole, and realized that combining the two activities happened to be the perfect excuse for family and friends to skip the heat while enjoying each other's company outdoors. It's a fun and intuitive game for everyone.
Learn more about Lodge and his venture through this spring 2021 feature in W. P. Carey magazine.
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