In the process of determining the best way to make candles for his startup business, Jon Korsgard burned himself with hot wax and caused a bowl to explode in a microwave.
However, the experience of that experiment faded when Scandles, the custom candle-making business he started with classmate, Illinois State University senior Alexander Steenbergen, won the grand prize in this year's Startup Showcase.
Sixteen contestants vied for the grand prize in the 2016 Startup Showcase competition sponsored by the George and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Illinois State University.
Korsgard, of Naperville, and Steenbergen, of Peoria, are senior business information systems majors. Their business combines business savvy along with knowledge in candle-making and the use of 3-D printers, Steenbergen said.
Kosgard and Steenbergen are able to make custom candles in a variety of shapes, colors and scents using a 3-D printer to make molds. Korsgard said a simple mold, such as one used to make a flat candle in a particular shape, only costs about $1. More complex, larger molds might cost $7. This process is far less expensive than traditional mold making, according to the young entrepreneurs.
Scandles business plan also includes donating a percentage of the money they make to charity.