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UO Business: The Magazine, Summer 2017

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sn't sure how to make a business out of it. S T U D E N T S Suddenly, Holton was 20 years old with a few thousand dollars in grant money. He knew he had a good idea. He just wasn't sure how to make a business out of it. It all started when Holton saw, firsthand as a clerk at REI, a need for a reliable service to help solve the complexities of resupplying on a long-distance hike, such as the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail. Initially Holton wasn't sure he had the skills to run a successful business. As the venture moved forward, he pushed ahead anyway, surrounding himself with mentors, experts, and other students who had ideas and insights about how to make Trail Supply Co. a success. Holton said several individuals motivated him to continue building out the concept: instructor and undergraduate entrepreneurship program manager Kate Harmon, chief startup officer and executive director of RAIN Eugene Accelerator Joe Maruschak, Eugene entrepreneur and RAIN Eugene's mentor-in-residence Shane Johnson, and Lundquist's Assistant Dean for Portland Programs John Hull. "They helped me see the potential of my ideas," Holton said. Joined by his developer partners Cosmos and Eden Corbin, Holton officially launched TrailSupplyCo.com in October 2016. The team rolled out its customer resupply planning application March 1, 2017. "We believe this application is the best way for any long-distance hiker to plan out a resupply strategy," Holton said. The Trail Supply Co. site allows users to select from more than 400 items for each curated box. Tasty meal options include Thai-style chicken with noodles, southwest corn chowder, and vegetable lasagna. First aid supplies, socks, sunscreen, and lip balm are among the gear offerings. Holton said the highly functional website serves as an entry point for potential customers. Trail guides, tips, and a blog add to the core services, which includes a comprehensive database of resupply points for the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and John Muir Trail as well as critical information, such as calories per box, weight, and miles between resupply points.

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