"Startup Vikes provided me with incredible connections and cash to get Coffee Drop started. It’s not just a competition – it’s for building real businesses.”
Stephen Quella is a native Clevelander. After being a science teacher in Chicago for many years, he came back to Cleveland with the vision to start his own small business enterprise – and through networking – found Startup Vikes.
Stephen used the Lean Launchpad methodology learned at Startup Vikes several times to refine his business plan for Coffee Drop.
His initial cash infusion from being one of the 2015 winners provided him with the capital to purchase much of the equipment he needed. However, it did not provide enough funds for the purchase of a food truck, so Stephen modified his mobile coffee business into a pop-up location providing custom beverage catering services for key events.
“Startup Vikes actually connected me to Campus District,” said Stephen. “I provided beverage service for their annual event and was then able to able to book additional events from that singular experience.”
Stephen is currently working on securing funding for a vehicle and license while pursuing an MBA degree.
“I’m just one small business loan away from a Coffee Drop truck and taking my business to the next level,” added Stephen.
Stephen is also a stay-at-home father and is working at founding two non-profits in Cleveland. He credits the methods learned at Startup Vikes for helping him to be able to launch the first Northeast Ohio chapter of Safe Families for Children, an organization he worked with in Chicago that provides respite care for children in crisis.