So Many Options If you've got stock to give, you might consider a student consultant.
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Most entrepreneurs seeking help from college students offerminimum wage internships or college credit. Grif Frost, CEO ofSakeOne, a sake producer in Forest Grove, Oregon, provided anentirely different level of "extra credit": stockoptions. As a class project, students from the University ofPortland's Entrepreneurial Marketing course were asked to comeup with innovative marketing ideas for SakeOne. The reward for thewinning student teams was 10,000 stock option shares in thecompany.
Class instructor Rob Peterson, who is now a SakeOne shareholder,first brought the idea to Frost. The stock options seemed like agood trade for the opportunity to get into the minds ofSakeOne's target market. "The students are the same age asour prospective customers," says Frost. "They teach uswhat our market wants. Also, they bring our company a whole newlevel of creativity."
Inspired by the stock option incentive, the students pitchedideas ranging from an inventive three-bottle Sake carrying pack toa line of bathing accessories called Sake Scents. Says Frost,"[Sake Scents] opened my mind to sake's potential withinthe cosmetic industry. Then, bam! We received a major contract forour sake from a cosmetic company in France." Talk about asmart investment.