Alaska Small Business Development Center

ANSEP Students Explore Entrepreneurship with Alaska SBDC!

May 14, 2024

Last week, the Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC) partnered with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) High School Acceleration Academy for Career Exploration Week!

On Thursday, May 9th, students got hands-on with Alaska SBDC’s innovative AI business planning tool, led by Anchorage Center Director Carlos Machuca. They gained valuable insights into crafting a compelling roadmap for their potential and prospective business ventures. Questions ranged from how to get started and why a business plan is important to the ethical use of artificial intelligence and what local businesses come to mind (too many to name)!

They also had the incredible opportunity to meet successful local business owners and hear firsthand about their entrepreneurial journeys, beginning with guest speakers, SSBCI Technical Assistance Specialist and former Pango Technology, Inc. owner Geoff Wright and Anchorage Business Advisor and successful entrepreneur Mike Daniels as they led ANSEP students on a deep dive into the exciting world of business planning and ownership.

This event provided ANSEP students with a unique chance to:

  • Discover the impact of small businesses in their communities: Students learned about their vital role in Alaska’s economy, fostering job creation and innovation.
  • Embrace the power of AI: Alaska SBDC’s cutting-edge AI tool empowered students to leverage technology in building their business plans.
  • Meet inspiring entrepreneurs: Students gained valuable knowledge and perspectives on entrepreneurship through insightful conversations with local business owners.

The exploration didn’t stop there! ANSEP students and SBDC staff embarked on exciting visits to two local businesses: Wild Scoops Micro-creamery and SteamDot Coffee Roastery.

At the Wild Scoops Test Kitchen, owner Elissa Brown generously shared her entrepreneurial story, guiding students through starting a business, creative marketing strategies, and the rewarding path to becoming a business owner.

The adventure continued at SteamDot, where owner Jonathan White welcomed the group. Students learned about coffee beans’ fascinating journey to reach Alaska, the intricate roasting process, the importance of local partnerships, and the intricacies of managing a successful business.

A huge thank you to Wild Scoops and SteamDot for their incredible hospitality and for leading such inspiring conversations about their contributions to Alaska’s thriving business landscape!

Considering a future in business?

The Alaska SBDC is here to help! Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, we offer a wide range of free and confidential resources, workshops, and expert advisors to support you on your journey. Explore our website,, to get started!

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