Citadel cadets happen upon opportunities everywhere, even on the tennis court. When Cadet Will Bush, ’24, arrived at a tennis practice in January, he had no idea his career was about to kick into high gear.
Bush was asked by one of his teammates to run the business side of a new enterprise. The teammate, a mechanical engineering major, had developed a nozzle attachment designed to extend the outflow of water-jet powered boats, increasing their maneuverability and safety. “We took off from there,” Bush said.
Bush applied the skills he’s been learning as a finance major to manage the financial statements. “Part of my role is cost analysis for product testing,” he said. Bush builds on his previous accounting experience and collaborates with his five partners, two of whom also play Citadel tennis.
The team entered the Baker Business Bowl competition under the name Trident Jet Nozzle. They were one of 33 teams to submit proposals, one of 10 to perform an elevator- pitch and one of five to present their full business plan in the final round of judging.
Their endeavors earned them the $10,000 first-place prize. “Our team is where it is now because of the business bowl,” Bush said. “This opportunity sparks creativity among cadets and helps a lot of people.” As the champion team, Trident Jet Nozzle advanced to the inaugural Southern Conference Entrepreneurship Challenge, a business competition between students from all 10 institutions in
the conference. “We are still a young business,” said Bush, “but we all have a huge passion for the product and are 100 percent involved.”
“Our team is where it is now because of the business bowl.”
Bush’s goal is to have the business running before he graduates. “Assuming everything goes according to plan, it would be great if our product hits the market in a year and a half
to two years,” he said. “There are liabilities to deal with and hoops to jump through.”
He looks forward to product testing on Lake Keowee this summer. “The Citadel taught me that minor details add up. That’s helped me as a student and throughout my career on the tennis court.” For Trident Jet Nozzle, the Baker Business Bowl is just the beginning.