By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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About 100 members of the Class of 2013 made small-business presentations at the event, a final exam for Dave Uranich's contemporary issues class, a single-semester required class for seniors that deals with the real-life issues students may face after graduation from high school.
Students were required to create a business proposal, including financial plans, market projections and research, and some kind of demonstration of their business or example of work they would do.
For some seniors, the class serves as their senior culminating project, a state graduation requirement.
At the expo, Hunter Jones, 18, Billy Moulton, 19, and Justin Bradley, 18, made an audacious proposal.
Give us money to build foam weapons, they said in their presentation for their imaginary business, “Boffering Items Plus.”
On the display table, foam-and-fabric weaponry sat alongside the folding display board — models of what they intended to build for sale.
Wes Ochs of Sound Commercial Bank and Brian Kuh, business lender for Craft 3, each said the three young men had created a viable business concept.
“As a lender, I would be seriously intrigued. It's a good prospect for someone like me,” said Kuh, who is also a Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce president.
The custom boffering equipment business is an ultra-niche market with virtually no competition, Kuh said.
It has a small, growing and dedicated consumer base, Internet sales and with one-off — or one-time-only — custom work, customers would prepay for everything, he added.
Ochs said there were some errors in the cash-flow portion of the proposal but that it was a solid business idea.
“They've tapped into something that has some potential,” Ochs said.
Boffering is a Middle Ages martial-based melee sport in which participants use heavily padded weaponry for individual and group battles.
There are about 30 boffering tournaments statewide each year, with more than 1,000 participants, Jones told Ochs.
A Port Angeles summer boffering club meets at noon Saturdays at Lincoln Park, with 25 or more participants.
Other student business proposals were more mainstream. Bakeries, cafes, gyms, a charter fishing service, pet boarding, massage therapy and a horse boarding farm were among them.
Eagle Lucas, Celia Gracey, Shane Clark and Jessical Bauers, all 18, proposed a gym in which Lucas said, “you gain, not lose weight.”
The Stack House would feature personal trainers with a focus on building muscle.
“We'll get you stacked,” Lucas promised.
Kuh seemed impressed with the presentation and the business concept.
“You clearly did your homework,” Kuh said, but he noted that there are several gyms already in town and that they would have to set themselves apart if a new gym was to succeed.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.