Two Missouri Western students are graduating with more than big plans to start their own business. Biology student Justin Turner and psychology student Michael Babbitt. Both young entrepreneurs already have two inventions, three current businesses, one past business, and a wealth of enthusiasm and initiative between them.
Turner, from St. Joseph, recently developed the technology to produce high resolution photos from a microscope slide, and he sells large, spectacular canvas prints of epithelial tissue, glandular tissue, mammalian skin and more. He is currently applying for a patent for his technique.
Elegant Epithelium has customers worldwide. Turner’s innate talent for invention and design is not new. When he was a sophomore, a lab in his genetics class inspired him to improve on a design he had found online. He designed a superior adapter and manufactured the components to build it with a 3-D printer; the new device enabled students to take photos of slides with their smart phones. Dr. Todd Eckdahl, professor of biology and department chair, purchased 12 of the adapters for students.
Turner earned early admission into medical school thanks to agreements that Missouri Western has in place, but after one semester, he decided to return to Missouri Western and add business and entrepreneurship to his education. His return to Missouri Western brought him in contact with Babbitt.
Babbitt, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, is the owner of Black Swan Social, which helps businesses with digital marketing and advertising; and founder and co-owner of CheckMeOut.Business, which creates videos for businesses.
“Everyone is competing for everyone else’s attention, and little things can make a big impact,” he says. “We bring companies up to the 21st century and help them explode their online presence.”
The entrepreneurs both say they appreciate the support they received from Annette as well as the information they learned when attending Entrepreneurship Week workshops.
“The whole week was filled with amazing information through and through,” Babbitt said. “It was a full-on boot camp of business.”
Less than three months after the Entrepreneurship Week Workshops, On The Top Search has multiple clients in Saint Joseph and the greater Kansas City area. They have found that their retargeting and Facebook live marketing services has had incredible ROI for their clients.
As one entrepreneur has already graduated and the other is close to finishing his degree, both say they plan to continue developing and expanding their businesses.