One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Ella Smith, Student Public Relations Writer

Many students work summer jobs to fund their college experience. Aaron Perry decided to do something a little different — he created his own startup business.

Perry, a sophomore finance major at Cedarville University from Kansas City, Missouri, was a typical college student who worked each summer break. However, two years ago he created a startup business, Ultra Lyte, and this past summer he took his business to a new level thanks to Cedarville’s “The Pitch” initiative. The Pitch is a program hosted by the university’s entrepreneurship center that allows students to make a business pitch to entrepreneurs in highly successful businesses — much like Shark Tank. His concept was a lightweight hat that could hold key items, such as keys and running gels when a person is running.

As a runner himself, Perry faced the issue of not having a good place to place his keys, wallet and even snacks while on a long run.

This inspired Perry to design a hat that could overcome these limitations. He then decided to present his business at the Pitch, officially launching the preorder portion of his business on stage.

After prototypes and experiments, Perry determined a hat with pockets could meet the needs of a runner. He continued developing the company and the hat this past summer and hopes to officially launch the full business this December.

He noted the importance of learning and gaining knowledge but then taking that knowledge and applying it.

“I chose a lot of classes that could help me develop a business, including business theory courses,” said Perry. “If you learn the theory taught in class and then apply it outside of class, then there is a lot more benefit.”

Perry believes many students capture the theory from business classes but struggle with how to apply the knowledge.

“I think people have a lot of ideas and they don’t know how to execute the ideas,” added Perry. “Just going out and learning is a lot. There’s a lot of professional growth that can take place once we learn how to apply theory with business principles.” One class in particular — Topics in Marketing — helped him focus on his business application.

An important factor in starting his third business was that it would be a lasting business designed not only to make money but to provide a product that would be useful to consumers.

“We’re always told to do what we’re passionate about. For the Pitch, I spent 40 hours working on the presentation, but it didn’t feel like 40 hours. It was an enjoyable process,” Perry explained. “It wasn’t tedious or overbearing. It was just time I enjoyed because I was bringing an idea into reality.”

Perry is currently accepting preorders for his Ultra Lyte Running hat on his website now.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,456 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, such as their finance major and entrepreneurship minor, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the No. 4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit

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