Baker Institute Team
"The chance to intern at my own company"
Eliza Wastcoat '20
Major | Marketing
Minor | International Relations
Nest | Consumer Experience
My junior year at Lehigh has been all about finding my niche and where I see myself going after college. As a business student, I had finally completed the core and had the chance to take my higher level marketing classes which I really enjoyed. I began to think more actively about life beyond Lehigh by taking advantage of the many different resources and opportunities available to students here.
A friend of mine, and now Business partner, Nazr El-Scari completed the Hatchery last summer. During that time, I was taking online summer classes and I was envious of the time he was able to spend on his business and personal development. I had also had an idea of my own brewing for some time and Nazr was able to use his experience from the Hatchery to help me get my ideas down on paper and start talking about it with my peers.
In November of 2018, I attended my first EUREKA! Pitch event at a stage 1 for $100 and mentorship. After winning, I soon began the initial prototyping for my site, which was focused on changing the way we shop online, and in doing so, I found a real love for creativity, innovation, and fashion. In December, Nazr approached me to help out with marketing strategies for A Sneakerheads Paradise and from there we started an unexpected but exciting partnership.
Even though I was back in London for winter break, we were FaceTiming everyday to plan out exactly how we wanted to execute a marketing strategy for the months ahead. I have always been a sneakerhead myself, so designing a marketing campaign with full license for creativity was a no brainer. As the months went on we executed on three successful EUREKA! pitches, launched our first marketing campaign, secured our first couple of customers, prototyped our first fashion lines, and established a relationship with Lehigh alum and entrepreneur himself, Jamie Flinchbaugh, to raise funds.
As the opportunity to expand became more clear, Nazr and I aimed to at least be in close proximity over the summer to continue to work on the business. Nazr always spoke so fondly of the Hatchery and my relationship with the Baker staff was always fun and energetic. The Hatchery program will provide me with the opportunity to not only build on the business, but also expand on my knowledge of entrepreneurship and learn new skills. Prior to the Hatchery, I had only completed an independent study in entrepreneurship so I knew there was a lot more knowledge for me to gain before I graduate.
I see the Hatchery program as the chance to intern at my own company. I knew that the program would allow me to sharpen my business skills, enhance my creativity, and gain confidence in using new technologies and tools around the Powerhouse that I would not otherwise get the chance to use. I have genuinely found my place at the Baker Institute and I feel strongly that this program will be key in shaping my path once I graduate next spring.