Skip to main content
Western Kentucky University

Sponsored Programs

Student-owned social media business taking off

Student-owned social media business taking off

Hangout Creative, a company owned by two WKU graduates currently stationed in lnnoplexx, the university's Student Business Accelerator, will soon be moving to a new location.

Blake Blackburn, a 2012 WKU graduate, said Hangout Creative was founded in the summer of 2012 and will be moving from lnnoplexx to its own office building sometime in February. He said he and his business partner, 2011 WKU graduate Joel Nivens, are the company's sole employees and take on all necessary responsibilities. "I pretty much wear every hat," Blackburn said. "I’m the engineer, networker; l do it all."

Blackburn said Hangout Creative has a different approach than other marketing companies that sell social media, explaining that other companies emphasize, "likes, comments and shares" on social media websites. Hangout Creative focuses more on the sales side of the business.

"I feel that small business owners really need our product because these new avenues of marketing, they're underutilized or there's not a lot of knowhow;" Blackburn said. ''I wanted to be the business that understands that and gives small business owners the ability to be competitive in an expensive marketing field"

 Hangout Creative has over 25 clients from Kentucky, southern Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee, including Nat's Outdoor Sports, tl1e Medical Institute of Kentucky, Overtime Sports Bar and Grill and Hilligan's.

Doug Rohrer, associate vice president of Research and Development, said the Student Business Accelerator is intended to help students who want to start their own companies.

"We give them some help getting started and they don't pay rent," he said. "That's where Hangout Creative actually got started, as a student company that has shared space in a room called the lnnoplexx."

Jeff  Hook, director of the Small Business Accelerator said lnnoplexx's goal is to "foster and support student entrepreneurship.''  He said students can be a part of lnnoplexx even after graduation.

"They (Hangout Creative) are engaged in the same way," Hook said. "I would say they’re more independent in that they're out in the marketplace, they're getting customers, and they’re spending more time executing their business model than discussing their business model with us internally." Nivens said Hangout Creative will remain a part of Innoplexx despite the change in location.

"We kind of feel like we're a part of them now;" he said. "And I don't think we'll ever really leave that even though we've both graduated"

 He said an incentive to stay connected to lnnoplexx was the assistance the program provides.

 "We get guidance and help from Jeff and from Doug and all those guys over there," he said. "They've all done this. They all know what the next step is."

Nivens said Hangout Creative will soon be pursuing a venture in Gulf Shores and is also looking to expand the company's operations to Nashville.

"We're kind of just looking to grow now," he said. ''That's our big next is  just growing into a bigger company."

I feel that small business owners really need our product because these new avenues of marketing, they're underutilized or there's not a lot of knowhow:' 

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Sponsored Programs
Office of Research
Latest Headlines
WKU Student develops The Ebola Project app to track virus

A WKU graduate student has developed a smartphone app that uses Twitter data to track the outbreak of the Ebola virus and could predict the spread of the virus.

WKU geology faculty receives ACS-PRF grant to support research

Dr. Nahid Gani, Assistant Professor of WKUís Department of Geography and Geology, has been awarded the prestigious and nationally competitive American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF) Grant to support her research in East Africa.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 9/24/14