University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

Student Business Ideas on Display

The State of Vermont is home to several craft breweries, and if Peter LaPlante has anything to say about it, there will be one more very soon.

LaPlante, a senior School of Business Administration student concentrating in Entrepreneurship and International Business, is hoping to start the “Logger Baron Brewing Company.”

“In the early 1800’s to mid 1900’s, Burlington was one of the biggest logging towns in the country and logger barons are responsible for a lot of the original development of Burlington because they all moved in here,” he said.  “So we’re trying to take the historical background and really tie it into the community.”

LaPlante’s business was just one student idea on display in the lobby of Kalkin Hall on Monday, April 30 as part of BSAD 138 – Entrepreneurship: Business Planning, taught by Professor Pramodita Sharma.

“Many students in this group are very serious about their idea, whether they start it right away or two years from now, that’s a question to be answered as they get some equity that they can put behind their ideas,” said Professor Sharma. 

Students in the class are responsible for developing a business plan for the creation of a new venture.  Ideas ranged from LaPlante’s brewing company to Josh Presson’s mobile cart that will sell chocolate covered potato chips on Burlington’s Church Street.

“They will be graded on the quality of the business plan, breadth and depth of research that went into it, their presentation, the comments from all the visitors, a comprehensive review of what they’ve done,” said Professor Sharma.

In order to come up with their business plan, LaPlante and his team members – Samuel Kelly and Matthew Lombardo spent countless hours conducting market research on the craft brewing industry.

“The craft brewing industry is still growing, really rapidly, 15% last year in cash.  But it’s getting to the point where it could be really saturated and that’s something we are worried about,” he said. 

His goal is to open his business in a few years.

“The entrepreneurship program here, especially having (Professor Sharma) here, has been amazing.  Just the general feel you get from the School, having professors right upstairs to answer questions if I have them, is the biggest advantage in helping me feel comfortable in opening a brewery,” LaPlante said.