Student wins national entrepreneurship distinction

Edmund Cronk Studios
Ben Edmund models one of his clothing designs. Photo credit: Kaitlyn Ferris

Nov. 7, 2013 - Ben Edmund's street wear clothing company is revolutionizing how brands connect with their customers by changing the creative and distribution processes. On Nov. 1, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) awarded the School of Business student the Disruptive Student Innovator of the Year award at its annual conference.

Edmund's company, Cronk Studios, started when his signature "Cronk Burger" image became very popular in Riverhead, N.Y. Cronk stands for create reality on new knowledge.

"When I created one of my own designs, it caught on and it was unifying people," said Edmund, a junior entrepreneurship and small business management major. "I realized that I was passionate about creating something that inspired someone else enough that they would want to wear it."

Edmund leverages exclusivity to promote his brand of graphic tees, hoodies, hats and other casual wear.

"We release only one product each month and we release each item only once," explained Edmund. "The designs stand out and because of the lifestyle associated with them, they are really personal to the buyer."

Edmund was humbled to win the award and hoped it would bring recognition to Quinnipiac's Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy.

The award put a showcase on the entrepreneurs here at Quinnipiac," said Edmund. "The entrepreneurship program is young, and it brings light to what we're doing. There are some students here doing some really amazing things."

Edmund was among nine Quinnipiac students to travel to the annual conference in Chicago that drew more than 1,100 collegiate entrepreneurs.

Several of Edmund's fellow Quinnipiac entrepreneurship students also earned distinctions at the conference. Juniors Keith Kito and Chris Conlin finished second in the computer simulation contest. Evan Samet, junior, finished in the top four for the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year award. Nick Hakim, junior, Dom Tullo, junior, and Chris Primerano, senior, were also awarded the People's Choice award for their startup, MusicVault.

"All the students represented their school and families extremely well," said Dale Jasinski, associate professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, who accompanied the students to the conference. "Our department is proud of their hard work and their accomplishments."

Working with his photographer and close friends to expand the business, Edmund plans to begin manufacturing larger production runs.

"We want to shop the brand around to boutiques in the local area," he said. "That will get us on the street and expose the brand to a wider range of customers. Between online sales and retail locations, we're hopeful in a year we'll be able to move more than 1,000 units per year."