OSU student startup Billy Goat Ice Cream
launches Kickstarter fundraising campaign

by Spears School News Staff 
(October 27, 2014 at 10:54 am)

Billy Goat Ice CreamBilly Goat Ice Cream Co., which makes ice cream from goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk, launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign earlier this month.

The advantage of using goat’s milk is the ice cream can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. It is estimated that one-third of all Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance.

Billy Goat Ice Cream is the creation of RaShaun Robinson and Caleb Neil, Master’s in Entrepreneurship students at Oklahoma State University.

“Caleb and I decided to pursue Billy Goat Ice Cream as a result of winning the Riata Center’s Big Idea Pitch and Poster competition last year,” said Robinson. “Caleb and I both met in the MSE program and dissected the idea I developed as an undergrad into what we have today. Since then we have been working toward getting into production to service many different grocery store outlets around the state.”

Billy Goat Ice Cream is currently producing ice cream in small batches. The purpose of the $20,000 Kickstarter campaign is to raise money to ramp up production. The company has secured shelf space in a handful of grocery stores in Stillwater and the Dallas area and is looking to expand.

Caleb Neil and RaShaun Robinson

Caleb Neil and RaShaun Robinson are the founders of Billy Goat Ice Cream.

The early success of Billy Goat Ice Cream is a testament to the strength of the OSU ecosystem for student startups. Robinson came up with the idea while an undergraduate student at Langston University, and came to OSU because of the School of Entrepreneurship and its Master’s of Entrepreneurship program.

The business was launched in Student Startup Central, the program’s student accelerator, after placing first in the Riata Center’s Big Idea Pitch and Poster Competition. Assistance was provided along the way by the Spears School of Business’s marketing department, which provided student interns, and by Jordan Advertising in Oklahoma City, which provided mentoring and support.

The business has now transitioned to Meridian Technology Center, west of Stillwater, which has an FDA-approved kitchen. Along the way, the business raised $95,000 for equipment via a USDA grant.

“We are doing Kickstarter in order to raise more money for facilities, packaging, distribution, and our first production run in operations,” Rashaun said. “So any support we can get in this early concept stage would mean getting a chance to make Billy Goat so much bigger than it is now and make our dreams as business owners come true.

Billy Goat Ice Cream’s Kickstarter campaign can be accessed via the Kickstarter website: http://kck.st/1ypZOKg