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Student Entrepreneurs Made “Lemonade” During Pandemic

June 28, 2020

Ben Patt, a senior Finance major, started to make the proverbial lemonade out of the pandemic’s lemons.

With people being housebound and gyms being closed, Patt, who is minoring in Operations and Supply Chain Management, and his best friend and now business partner, Jake Rosenbaum, a sophomore communication major, launched UniFit. (University Fitness) USA—a health, wellness, and fitness consulting company for college students.

Both Patt and Rosenbaum have a passion for fitness and gained lifestyle and exercise expertise through personal journeys.

“We want to help our peers understand the science of health and fitness so they can apply this knowledge to create a healthy lifestyle long term,” said Patt. “Jake and I made many mistakes trying to change our bodies and don’t want others to do the same.

“With Unifit, we are building this community of like-minded individuals all focused on a similar goal—our health and well-being. We can understand how many college students can feel displaced at times, we want to build an environment where people feel they are part of something really great!

“As we return to the new normal, Jake and I look forward to having small group work outs, coffee meet and greets, group grocery shops, and other small UniFit events.

The duo launched Unifit on April 6. Patt points to the knowledge he gained from a variety of classes that helped to get UniFit off the ground and successful.

“Marketing classes taught me the importance of the different social platforms and best ways to go about promoting my business on each one. Understanding the analytics behind social media and how some businesses have become popular over others has helped immensely.

“With UniFit starting an apparel line, having Production and Operations Management helped me to understand design, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and transportation aspects.

“Corporate Finance allowed me to get a feel for handling finances within a business, how to manage our credit, and how to be smart and effective with the money we did have.

Macro and Micro Economics gave me an understanding of market competition and what is needed to stand out—specifically how different companies add more value than the next.

Though a senior, Patt isn’t done with learning more to grow his business; he’s been accepted into LSBE’s Integrated 4+1 MBA program.

He wants other budding entrepreneurs to know that “now is your time to learn, make mistakes, and take advantage of the incredible knowledge you can obtain from business classes and professors right here at UMD.”