A leading U.S. business magazine has named Tacoma’s University of Puget Sound as one of its “Most Entrepreneurial Colleges.”
The Aug. 16 edition of Forbes compiled two lists, one for colleges and one for universities. Magazine staff selected 50 colleges and 50 universities and ranked them based on the total number of graduates who identify themselves as founders and business owners on networking site LinkedIn, divided by the school’s student body, according to a news release.
UPS found itself in the company of elite colleges such as Morehouse, Smith and Vassar. In a news release, UPS said it has many special programs that emphasize entrepreneurial skills and thinking, but it believes its liberal arts approach is the core of its success. The school “encourages students to think creatively, to critically assess ideas and opportunities, and to pursue initiatives to the utmost of an individual’s potential,” according to the release.
Some examples of entrepreneurial UPS alumni include:
▪ Jesse Proudman, who sold his Blue Box cloud computing business to IBM.
▪ Alison Farner Swanigan founded TempAlertID, a company that provides temporary “medical alert ID” tattoos for kids.
▪ Nicolas Cary, cofounder of Bitcoin currency business Blockchain.
▪ Ryan Payton, who created video game company Camouflaj.
▪ Betsy Wanless Johnson, founder of SwimZip swimwear for babies and toddlers. She was on ABC’s Shark Tank in January 2014, and got a $60,000 investment.
▪ Jordan Hanssen and Greg Spooner, who are OAR Northwest rowing expeditions executives.
▪ Billy Smith, co-founder of recreational firm Sporting-Sails.
▪ Dan Abrams, a founder of FlyLow Gear ski apparel and equipment.
▪ Brett Veerhusen, co-founder of The Real Alaska media production company.
▪ Benjamin Anderstone, partner of consultancy Progressive Strategies NW.
▪ Megan Janes started Seattle Pops, a 100 percent natural popsicles company and was selected as the local frozen dessert vendor at the U.S. Open.
UPS has the Business Leadership Program, which has 25 students each year who receive benefits including mentorships, internships, field trips and studies of business fundamentals. In 2001, an associate professor launched the Tacoma Entrepreneur Network, which involves students beyond UPS in business plan and start-up competitions, company field trips, and networking dinners with local entrepreneurs.