Creating a Company Class @ the UW



One of the coolest things about the twenty week Creating A Company class at the University of Washington is that you get real money to start a real company. It's not just writing papers and presenting PowerPoints.

The second coolest and kind of crazy thing about the class is that you go from team-formation to ideation, to R&D, and then pitching in the first ten weeks of the class. The next ten weeks are dedicated to selling and making a profit (which is a fraction of your grade and is used to fund the program).



How did we develop the perfect balance of our sweet and spicy blend?

It all started in Karin’s kitchen in February, 2017. We looked at some recipes and started experimenting with different variations of milk, sugar, chai spices, and coffee. It took three weeks of brewing and tasting all the possible combinations to finalize our recipe. The result? The perfect blend of soy milk + coconut sugar + seven chai spices + shot of white coffee espresso.




We pitched to ten judges at 8:30 AM on a Monday morning. As nervous as we were, we were confident with our presentation and had a lot of fun preparing it.

The constructive feedback format of the pitch taught us how to better answers question about our market, supply chain, scaling, etc. Furthermore, it taught us how to translate our passion and share what we know about our business with investors.




In two months between April and May, we held about 15 pop-up events on the UW campus, light rail station, Greenlake, and South Lake Union, where we sold over 640 bottles! In April and early May, there was a lot of rain, wind, and chilly temperatures. Regardless, the team had fun sharing our experience and product with our very first customers. It was a very rewarding and life-changing experience for everyone! Without the support from the people we met, we would most likely not be a company today.

-- Karin

Karin Soyama