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OSU-Cascades To Run Snowboard Business

BEND, OR -- OSU-Cascades will soon operate a for-profit snowboard company, and offer a class to go with it.

The owners of Bend-based SnoPlanks are donating the company to OSU.

They met with OSU Business instructor Todd Laurence last spring.

“That was the genesis of the idea. And as a working group we've been figuring out exactly how to do something that's never been done before by a university,” Laurence says.

He tells KBND News it’s a unique educational opportunity, “It could be baked into the learning experience for students, not just within outdoor products and business, but really across the entire student body. Because there's lots of ways that students can be involved in running this business.”

Instructor Geoff Raynak says students in his Outdoor Products Degree program will learn the difference between assignment due dates, and business deadlines, “We're basically going to treat it as the way that almost every business that creates product here in North America works.”

Students won’t manufacture the boards, but will be involved in design, sales, and finance. “The work that we're doing here is effectively teaching every single student the go-to-market process. With the idea that you can be an entrepreneur and run a business in the outdoor industry,” Raynak says.

Laurence says the program will benefit students, and the community, “All the business leaders that we've spoken to are super excited to have students graduating from college with real world business experience.”

Raynak says there is already tremendous excitement in the program, which is still in development, “I think it really speaks to how students want to learn. Right. We're not changing the content that they're learning; we're changing the way that they're learning it. And I think that that's really the fundamental shift that's going on here.”

The SnoPlanks Academy program is still in development; a student leadership team will be formed in the coming months, according to a press release provided by the university.


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