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2018 Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
24 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 18, at 08:00 AM MDT
Project Owners

2018 Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition

Fort Lewis College seeks to challenge students and promote an environment of creativity and innovation, while enabling them to be productive members of society. The Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition began in 2016 and has offered educational opportunities, mentoring, and financial support for students and recent alumni who dreamed of owning their own business. 


We are currently fundraising for the $5,000 first place prize for the 2018 competition!  This campaign is a partnership between Hawk Tank and the Office of Alumni Engagement to help foster the entrepreneurial spirit among current students and alumni. 


When you donate to our drive, you're supporting:

  • Job creation in the local economy

  • Dreams of students who have taken the initiative to put their ideas into play

  • Skill development to become employers and utilize the talent within our community

Thank you for considering our cause!



Meet the Teams!


There were 70 teams that entered the competition in 2018.  It is our pleasure to introduce you to a small selection of the teams so you can learn about the products and the passion behind their submission.


Zona Tropical

Zona Tropical is based on an organic farm which includes a restaurant, bar, recreational area, suites for guests to stay, and is built completely of bamboo. Our product is a tropical experience through gastronomic flavors of the fruits and vegetables grown on site, along with herbs for refreshing drinks. Our mission goes after serious problems of which the island of Puerto Rico suffers by securing a food supply from the organic gardens integrated on site, obtaining drinkable water through capturing and filtering local spring water, using a sustainable building material to build our state of the art facilities, and producing the electric power from hydroelectric systems from local rivers.


Roberto Trigo is from Las Cruces, New Mexico as well as Puerto Rico. He is a Fort Lewis College Alum with a major in Business Administration and is the LLC Manager of the team. Robi’s hobbies include farming and researching resolutions to the current problems of Puerto Rico. Mariano Robles is an Engineer and local bamboo builder from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Jorg Stamm is a bamboo construction specialist from Popayán, Colombia. Pablo Luna, also a bamboo construction specialist from the island of Bali, Indonesia who will provide the construction drawing and the 3-D perspective design. Jaime Perisller is an organic agricultural expert and has dedicated the last thirty years to giving classes on organic farming and creating an organic soil production system to grow food for the island of Puerto Rico. Kevin Rossiter works with energy systems and designs as well as manages hydroelectric installation.


​The Badlands Project

The Badlands Project is a burgeoning media platform to engage women in outdoor adventure, natural science, and wild creation. We believe empathetic understanding of nature and fellow beings might just save ourselves and the world. Just like a badland, we’re going to strip away the excess to expose the authentic stories and connections waiting underneath. Our mission is to connect people with the natural world we live in through authentic storytelling. Be the change we wish to see by actively engaging in our communities. Become teachers and educators sharing experiences and skills in natural science, art, and adventure. 


Catherine Vogel grew up in Durango, Colorado exploring the local San Juan Mountains and has developed an appreciation for outdoor adventure, skiing, hiking, and climbing opportunities in the area. She graduated in 2015 with a major in Geology and minor in Chemistry. These passions have grown into The Badlands Project as a place to form human connection through shared experiences in nature, science, and art. Jillian Lane grew up in the sleepy town of Jemez, New Mexico, which is rich in tradition, history, and art. She spends much of her time exploring the American Southwest as a writer and mountain biker. Jillian also graduated from The Fort in 2015 with a major in Creative Writing and wants to help share powerful messages through the power of storytelling.


Chief Cube

Our goal is to put an end to the water pipe chaos in the tobacco industry, and say hello to the future of clean, smooth, and frozen smoking. Regular ice melts fast, builds condensation, and creates a mess. Chief Cubes are long-lasting polypropylene plastic. Each cube is filled with non-toxic distilled water. Our mission is to make sure our customers know that their purchase is of highest caliber.


Carter Reed is the founder of Chief Cubes. He is from Austin, Texas and started Chief Cubes in July of 2017. His love for entrepreneurship has always been strong. Arianna Sutti is a freshman at Fort Lewis, with a major in marketing and minor in exercise science. Also from Austin, Texas, she likes to travel, hike, ski, and run on the Fort Lewis track team.


Ya Dii Lah


Ya dii lah is an energetic, imaginative mobile food truck company aimed at offering high-quality, moderately priced, unusual influx of foods from the Native American culture by using only local and natural ingredients of the Southwest. We view ourselves as partners with our customers, our employees, our community and our environment. We aim to become a regionally recognized brand, capitalizing on the rapid growth and popularity of the mobile food industry in the Durango, Colorado area. Our goal is cultural infusion, annual profitability and maintaining our sense of humor along with our culture.


Tech-Nichol Device Repair

Tech-Nichol Device Repair has covered all small electronic device repairs and we plan to expand into consumer smart-home technology and sales for our own device repair insurance. Our mission is to beat big chain competitors by offering quality services and expanding through the local economy.


Nash McNichol is from Durango, Colorado. He is currently undeclared and spends his free time climbing at Sailing Hawks, playing tennis, or riding his long board down the river trail.


Spruce Investment Company

The business plan of Spruce Investment essentially revolves around investing the money of those who have recently become wealthy. The population in the United States of people younger than 35 years old is getting more financially stable and looking for ways to invest and grow their money. Spruce Investment’s mission is to become the advisor of choice for clients while staying true to our principles and working diligently for YOU.


Elias Marsh is the sole member of the company. He is from Boulder, Colorado and is majoring in Business Administration while minoring in Adventure Education. His hobbies include investing, climbing, skiing, and cooking. 



Please visit the Hawk Tank website for more information.


Choose a giving level


Sky Steps

Sky Steps is our lowest level of donation and named after the newest trail connecting downtown Durango with the FLC campus. The stairway has 500 steps and 250 feet of elevation gain. Sky Steps literally and figuratively connects the college with the local community. Every trail and every donation starts with the first step.


Animas River Trail

Animas River Trail is the easiest of all our trails listed. The Animas River Trail runs for just over 9 miles along the scenic Animas River, occasionally following the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad corridor. During summer, about eight trains per day run along the tracks. The trail cuts through several city parks and across five bridges.


Smelter Mountain

Smelter Mountain is a moderately rated trail system and our 2nd level of donation. During this extremely vertical hike you'll gain over a 1000 feet of elevation in just one short mile where at the top you will be rewarded with 360 degrees views of Durango and the surrounding area. Smelter Mountain also has a rich history and can lend its name to Durango formerly being home to the biggest metal smelting operating plant in the southwest.


Raider Ridge

The Raider Ridge Overlook trail is our 3rd level of donation. This trail is a moderate 1 mile hike that ends with amazing views of Fort Lewis College and the surrounding town of Durango. You can also gaze out on the surrounding area and catch a glimpse of all the other trails mentioned. If you're lucky, you will spot deer, elk and a variety of wildlife in the area. Raiders Ridge is also a favorite destination for mountain bikers due to its quick and easy location and a technical ride.


Perins Peak

Perins Peak is our longest and most difficult trail mentioned. It is also our 4th level of donation. This almost 7 mile round trip hike starts from the Hogsback and finishes at the peak of Perins which provides endless views and a perfect place to sit back and relax with nature. Make sure to look southeast from the peak to catch a birds eye view of Fort Lewis College.


Ultimate Sky Hawk

The Ultimate Skyhawk is our highest level of donation. This person embodies the Durango lifestyle and supports the local community through their contributions. Appreciating the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, this is someone who has conquered all our trails and more.