Columbia College students start business to help ease transition for international students

Nov 20, 2013

Meg Goddard knows how hard the transition is for international students going to college in the United States.  That’s why she and fellow Columbia College student Jovan Ilic are starting a business called “Fresh Start” to help students coming from other countries feel a little more at home right away.

“The idea is that international students would fly over and have all the essentials they need waiting for them in their college dorm,” Goddard says. “They’d have the big stuff that you can’t really pack - bedding, towels, shampoo, and conditioner.  The stuff that you need to get you on your feet when you first arrive.”

The pair presented their start-up at the 2013 CLIMB Seed Grant Pitch Competition on November 7th.  Although they didn’t receive a grant, they were encouraged with the feedback that they received at the event.

Goddard says their next step is to establish a presence on social media.  She says that they have a blog page, but that they are hoping to expand their following on Twitter and Facebook.  Not only would this expand their business in Columbia, but it would also help make their presence known to agencies in other countries

Ilic says he hopes that they will develop a partnership with the agencies that are facilitating the international studies programs.  With more than 17,000 students studying in Missouri this year, Goddard and Ilic say they think that it will be a welcome program.  They are planning on officially starting their company in the spring or summer of 2014.

This story originally aired as part of Business Beat, a weekly program about business and economics in mid-Missouri.