By Chris Lievsay, assistant director, Columbia College-Kansas City
Recently, a student from our location here in Kansas City was awarded the grand prize in the 2022 Steven and Barbara Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship Student Pitch Competition! Shapree Marshall is taking an idea to help traveling nurses find furnished short-term accommodations, and putting it on a path to be an operating business.
This is more than just a school project for her; this is a business that she is actively building. “This is a startup that I plan to build and scale,” said Marshall, as she discussed her plans for the future of A Traveled Path.
Since her Fishman competition win, Marshall has already been accepted as a Comeback KC Venture Fellow, a project of KC Digital Drive, which is providing business development advice, additional educational opportunities, and increased visibility to investors. With their help, she is also applying for a grant from Digital Sandbox KC that could award up to $20,000 in direct assistance to help build out her website for A Traveled Path.
Corbin Umstattd ’12, a partner at the investment firm U4 in Kansas City that helped coach Marshall in the student pitch competition, said that he was excited to work with her on this project. “I always look forward to the Columbia College Pitch Competition and getting to work with such dedicated and passionate CC students like Shapree. She came in prepared and ready to get to work on further developing her idea for A Traveled Path and it showed when she took home the top prize. I’m excited to watch her business grow and wish her continued success,” said Umstattd.
Marshall says she is always looking for networking opportunities, and invites people to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ways that can help her business grow.