Are you looking for a cozy and fun way to stay warm this winter? A pair of U students have designed the perfect product for you.
In late November, Garred Lentz and Brayden Iwasaki launched Sakpants, a cross between sweats and footie pajamas. Lentz, Sakpants co-founder and a graduate student, said he had the idea for Sakpants because for most of his life he has wrapped the hem of his sweats around his feet when he got cold. This is because he doesn’t like socks, and he always lost his slippers.
After using a prototype of the pants as a project for a public speaking class, Lentz was encouraged to pitch the pants to the U’s Entrepreneur Club. Sakpants received $3,000 from the Get Seeded program, an affiliate of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute funded by Zions Bank. Lentz and Iwasaki used the money to refine their product and then, after raising nearly $25,000 on Kickstarter, Sakpants became available for purchase just in time for the 2014 holiday season.
Lentz said while he was capable of starting a business on his own, the Lassonde Institute helped motivate him to actually start a business.
“I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to just, like, decide to start a business without their funding and also their support,” he said.
Thad Kelling, spokesperson for the Lassonde Institute, said while success stories like Lentz’s and Iwasaki’s are great, the Institute’s main mission “is to provide students transformative experiences through entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Kelling said the Institute annually has around 5,000 students working in teams to get their start-ups funded. He said these students come from all around campus and the Institute prides itself on being interdisciplinary.
“The music majors are just as welcome as the business school students,” Kelling said. “Everyone has an idea for an app, for a new food truck or a new medical device. We help them reach towards that dream.”
Lentz said any student interested in entrepreneurship should take advantage of the many programs the Institute offers.
“The experience I had pitching and working with them is something I’ll use in other professional settings,” he said.
Lentz said he sees himself staying in entrepreneurial lines of work, but he doesn’t know how far Sakpants will take him. For now, he plans to focus on making Sakpants a viable long-term product, which includes looking for a local store to retail the product. Lentz said they may even have a version officially licensed by the U, but they’re not that far yet.
Sakpants are currently available online at sakpants.com and come with drawstrings and feet pads in pink, blue, orange or yellow.