This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.
Founders: Ryan Myer ’22, Finance major. Kyle Sznoluch, general education major.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Myer: Our business name is Sparza and our goal is to spread fun, happiness, and bring balance to the world! We have created a card game called A Balancing Act that involves two teams who go head-to-head with one person on each team acting out a hilarious, goofy action card while their teammates balance cards on them. The team who balances and acts the best will win the most points and eventually win the game!
DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?
Myer: I was in an entrepreneurship class, BMGT461M, with professor Le-Marie Thompson and I told her one day that I have always wanted to start a business. She said, “well, why haven’t you?,” “what is stopping you?” Later that day I went home, called my good friend, Kyle Sznoluch, and convinced him to join me on this wild entrepreneurship adventure. Ultimately, I have always wanted to start a business venture and am thankful for every opportunity I have received.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?
Myer: I have always wanted to work for myself, make my own hours, and put in countless hours of work to escape the rat race that many people involve themselves in.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?
Myer: In the last six months, we have conducted over 100 customer interviews, prototyped our game, ordered units, and sold the card game to the general public.
DC: As a student business owner, what motivates you?
Myer: The ability to learn more, hone my abilities, and the feeling of accomplishment as we progress through the entrepreneurial journey.
DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?
Myer: We aim to sell through all of our current product inventory, improve our website, produce a professional commercial, gain advice, and grow our social media presence.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be??
Myer: I would say to go for it! Take that initial step and you will be absolutely dumbfounded by what you can truly achieve when you set your mind to something. Find a driving motivation for why you want to start the business. Something that will continue to drive you through your best day, worst days, and days when you even feel like giving up. Never give up and you will see success! If starting a business was easy, everyone would do it.
To learn more about Sparza, please visit the website here.