Tugging at the heartstrings of many Americans, co-founders of the startup Apawllo are finding their niche, while following their passion. The business sells high-quality apparel for animal lovers and their pets, with proceeds being donated directly to animal shelters.

Apawllo was born in the Entrepreneurship 200 course, known as the “Lemonade Stand” class, where students are required to bring a product or service to revenue during the semester. After just four months, junior Nick Elsenpeter with sophomores Olivia Iaizzo and Dina Hansen, the classmates who started the company, won the competition, earning money they plan to put right back into the business.

“We had all had the common interest of animals and wanted to be able to include that in our business plan and found a way to do so,” said Iaizzo. “With the winnings, we plan to expand our line of products and awareness and make impactful donations to animal shelters,”

The team members feels they’re in a good place to grow the company, as they look to build on the skillsets they learned in this first entrepreneurship class.

“We were all able participate in different aspects of the business world,” said Elsenpeter. “The creation of the business was amazing, but being able to do the marketing, finance, operations and other business sections made it a very unique learning experience that no other business class offers. Our idea changed slightly after hot washes but still kept the same purpose, which we loved.

“Being able to help animals appealed because we are able to have fun running the business along with enjoying the outcome from our sales.”

As these budding entrepreneurs move their business from the lemonade stand to a broader market, they ask customers to think about their purchases with a shared passion in mind:

Put a purpose behind your purchase and help us take the next step in our movement to improve these animals’ lives.

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