Simple Startup Stories

Case Studies

Learn from students who have gone before you. Each of these case studies highlights a business that was built using The Simple StartUp curriculum. See what they did right, what mistakes they learned from, and how you can take these lessons and apply them to your own business.

If you have completed The Simple StartUp and want to share your story as a case study, send an email to

Success Stories

"The Simple StartUp project was one of the most usable and realistic projects I have ever done. It truly does show that if you put in the work, you will eventually reap the benefits. My partner, Robert, and I spent weeks developing a marketing plan, figuring out exactly what products we would like to sell, and how we would market them. We both were, and still are, very involved in the agricultural industry so we decided to do something related to that, because it is something that interested us both. Our idea was fairly simple, a wooden box with two horseshoes as handles. We sold them at our school’s annual plant sale, and we made a very decent profit, and we honestly had a good time doing it. This project made me aware that sometimes you have to get creative to save money. Instead of buying new horseshoes, we cleaned up used ones. It took more time, but we made a bigger profit. Why spend more money when it isn’t needed? I would love to own my own business someday, and this project really did help me understand what it is going to take."

– Hannah


"During this project I learned so many things like how to cut glass by scoring and sanding, designing logos, and selling to the public. Coming up with the pitch and then standing up on stage to present our company to the judges was a huge learning experience and one I will not forget. We managed to finish in 3rd place in the county competition which came with substantial prize money for me and my team members. Who would have thought that selling soy-based candles in custom cut glass bottles/containers, would be so difficult but also so profitable!”

– Hunter

"I learned from this project that you have to divide the work evenly, make sure everyone has a fair amount, and then make sure it actually gets done. I learned that starting your own business can be a lot of work, but it was great for me because I was broke at the start of the project! I learned to manage my time better and make sure I get more done in a shorter space of time as well as how to work within a group effectively. I plan to always have a side hustle business moving forward."

– Robert


"I learned that every person had something different to bring in terms of ideas, and each person had a quality that another didn’t have. Learning how to market our product and then how to talk about it to customers and judges was a new skill for me. I enjoying learning how to price our products so that we would first breakeven and then start making a profit. Making a budget for our business was definitely one of the most challenging parts."

– Mady

When working with others in a business you learn how to be a better communicator. We actually had a business and had people who wanted to buy our products! We sold multiple products and made a profit. I think if I were to continue it in the future, my business would grow.