Apr 252005
Authors: Lindsay Reiter

What began as a class project has evolved into a marketable business plan that four students plan to pursue after graduation.

A group of students in the Entrepreneurship Certificate Program have created a unique product, different from anything else on the market. The product, called Hottie Jeans, was created for women who live in cold weather climates.

"Hottie Jeans are women's flannel lined jeans printed with the school's logo," said Leigh Sabey, a senior business major and Collegian student advertising manager.

The jeans have won two national fourth place awards and will sell for $59.95.

"Our plan is to be in the CSU bookstore this fall and eventually expand to 24 other universities in northern climates," Sabey said.

While it remains to be seen whether or not Hottie Jeans will be a popular clothing trend, the product's creators, Chris Wierman, a marketing major; Rhianna Bain, a marketing major; Jamie Fisher, a marketing major; and Leigh Sabey, a business management major, who are all seniors, have been working hard to ensure its success.

"We did a survey and found that over half of the women surveyed would buy a pair if they were available," Sabey said.

Earlier this semester Hottie Jeans was chosen to represent CSU at two different competitions. They beat out six other teams from the Entrepreneurship Program.

Hottie Jeans recently traveled to Lincoln, Neb., to compete in the University of Nebraska's "NU Ventures World Competition" on March 25 and 26, where they won fourth place and a reward of $750.

"We have taken the feedback from that competition to be more competitive for Venture Adventure," Sabey said.

Venture Adventure is an annual business competition hosted by CSU that took place over the weekend.

A total of 19 teams came from all over the United States and Canada to participate in the competition.

The two-day event began with each team presenting their product to a panel of judges. Each team had to conduct a 15-minute presentation and a 10-minute question-and-answer session. The panel of judges was comprised of prominent business leaders from the Front Range area. Before presenting their product, each team submitted a written business plan.

"The most valuable part of the competition is the feedback students receive from the judges but our focus is on education," said Hunt Lambert, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. "Venture Adventure builds bridges to the business community so ideas can flow out into the commercial world."

Five of the 19 teams were named finalists in the competition and received cash prizes. The first place team from the University of Utah was awarded $6,000 for the "Billiard EX" project that involved the production of pool tables.

Hottie Jeans placed fourth in the Venture Adventure Competition and was awarded a cash prize of $1,250.

"Our teams have not placed in the previous two years, but they have all gone on to create businesses," Lambert said.

The projects do not get buried when students receive their diplomas.

"I am really proud of how Hottie Jeans has transformed from a project into a viable business idea," Fisher said. "I am looking forward to continuing with this business after graduation, and I am excited to see where it will go."

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