By Elisabeth Shirley
Business Week at Flagler College ended with a bang for Lion’s Cage event winners Joshua Cuddy and Kaleb Whitt.
Students have the ability to get an inside look at how the business world runs with several events throughout the week, connecting with professionals. This year’s theme was “The Future is Now: Technology and Business,” revolving around how business and technology interconnect.
Cuddy and Whitt’s business idea, Tabono Gym, seeks to allow accessible convenience for anyone looking to get a workout in without having to make the trip to a fitness center. The portable gym, versatile for many markets, gives users everything they need for fulfilling exercise in one compact space.
The grand prize for the Lion Cage event, which gave students an opportunity to present their own business ideas in front of a judging panel, allowed the two to walk out with a $2,500 check that they plan to put right back into their business.
“We feel so optimistic about it,” Cuddy said. “We’re going to do some really good things with the money.”
Tabono Gym was not curated just for the event, but rather an idea long in the making.
“I actually had a dream about this. I woke up and ran outside to get my bookbag and notes, then wrote down everything I possibly could,” Cuddy said.
He asked Whitt, who majors in sports management, to be a part of Tabono Gym. Whitt was also the one to encourage Cuddy to pitch the idea for the Lion’s Cage event.
“Kaleb has a great work ethic and I think we share a lot of the same core values and determination,” Cuddy said. “I thought he would be really great for the team.”
With factors such as school and work, it has been hard to commit fully to the business, Cuddy said. With the money they received, they will be closer to making their dream a reality.
“Our next step is to really establish our company. Creating a website, creating a social media presence,” Whitt said. “Really just making it the best product it can be.”
Cuddy said that the event gave them a lot of insight as to how the real business world is like.
“Some of the questions that we were asked, both by other contestants and judges, gets you thinking. When you start preparing for those questions, it teaches you a lot about the market and the overall industry. The entire event was really cool,” Cuddy said.
The judging panel included those from the business community such as Firehouse Subs CEO Don Fox.
“After the event, we spoke to some of the judges and audience members as well. They gave us some helpful tips and ideas,” Whitt said.
Flagler’s Business Week helped to further prepare themselves for the future they hope for Tabono Gym.
“The whole thing was a learning experience. We’re going to be faced with questions we don’t know, but when we are, you can be rest assured that we’re going to know the answer for the next time,” Cuddy said.
The two expressed their gratitude for the opportunity they were given to participate and everything they learned throughout the week.
“We would like to say thank you to everyone who made Business Week possible. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to present our idea to the judges, the panel and all of the students who were curious and came to our table,” Cuddy said.