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Gannon Business Students Excel with Pop-Up Businesses for Profits and Charity

Published: 04/08/2021

Product examples from the Harvest Helpers Pop-Up Business

Product examples from the Harvest Helpers Pop-Up Business

Students in the capstone course BCOR 480 - Business Policy at Gannon's Dahlkemper School of Business take on the task of creating real pop-up businesses that must be started, run and closed within a two-week time frame. This project has been in place for the past three years. This semester, students businesses that not only strengthened their abilities to manage all aspects of a small enterprise but they benefitted local causes including the Erie YMCA, Erie City Mission, Gannon's COVID Relief Fund, Make-A-Wish, and more. 

Take a look at the students' Pop-Up Businesses and their benefactors:

Mental Health Matters: 

- Mental Health Matters hosts a virtual yoga class and selling custom-designed “Mental Health Matters” merchandise including a tee shirt, tote bag, specialty tea, and mug to benefit two charities - Glamorous Gutless Girls and The Warrior in Her - created by Gannon student Reganne O’Brien.

YMCA Bracket Challenge: 

- This team hosts an NCAA March Madness bracket challenge with proceeds going to the Erie Downtown YMCA. 

Doughut Dash: 

- Doughnut Dash allows Gannon students, faculty and staff to order Krispy Kreme doughnuts delivered to your dorm, office or home, benefiting charity the Erie City Mission.

Escape Our Room: 

- Escape Our Room created an “Escape Room” inside Gannon’s Waldron Campus Center in the Power Room, partnering with Escape Room Erie for technical advice. Proceeds benefit Gannon’s COVID Relief Fund.

Operation End Poverty: 

- Operation End Poverty partnered with and benefited the United Way of Erie to sell purple bracelets with the message: MISSION: CRUSH POVERTY, UNITED WAY – ERIE, PA. 

Bracelets for Shriners:

- Bracelets for Shriners sells maroon bracelets that patrons can buy for themselves or donate to children at the Shriners Hospital, with proceeds going to Shriners Hospital for Children in Erie, PA. 

Sticker King: 

- Sticker King creates customized stickers for various Gannon clubs and organizations (e.g., Gannon’s Baseball Team, International Hispanic Association) so those organizations can help “build their brand” with proceeds going to YMCA of Greater Erie.

Beer Pong: 

- Beer Pong partnered with El Amigo Mexican Grill on an “Advising Day Eve Pong Tournament,” with proceeds benefitting the Special Olympics. 

Make-A-Wish With Your Wrist:

- This business sold blue “Make-A-Wish” bracelets, with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish.


- BreathWear created COVID masks, customized with a company’s logo, with proceeds going to the COVID-19 Allied Health Network (AHN) Assistance Fund. 

Harvest Helpers: 

- Harvest Helpers partnered with Iron Empire to create limited edition Gannon branded tee shirts, totes and koozies, with proceeds going to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania.

After Gannon provided the initial start-up funding, these teams multiplied the initial investments into revenues, profits and sizable donations to the charities they selected. Through the Fall semester, students had started 24 Pop-Up Businesses and that initial $500 investment, and turned it into $49,000 in revenues, $39,000 in profits, with $32,000 donated to charities.