Entrepreneurs create a small business on Lake Austin

Every year, as summer approaches, Austinites line up behind snow cone stands throughout the city. With the blistering sun beating down on their backs, they endure the long lines in order to get their hands on the refreshing taste of summer found in a cup of fruity shaved ice. Seniors Tate Bowden, Christopher Bybee and Bril Flint saw these icy treats as a business opportunity.

“We saw a need for snow cones as we were waiting in line for Sno Beach and wanted to take it somewhere else,” Christopher said. “At first we thought about taking it to College Station, but then I thought about the lake.”

The boys plan to transform a pontoon boat into a snow cone stand that will serve high quality shaved ice to people out on Lake Austin. The pontoon boat has been purchased and will undergo renovations before setting sail in early June.

“Our purpose is to create a convenient way for people to get a refreshment on the lake,” Christopher said. “That’s one of the problems with the lake right now — it’s hard to get refreshments because you have to go to the other side of the lake and go into a restaurant.”

Sno Boat will sail around the lake, especially in coves, selling snow cones in various different flavors and sizes. In order to get their small business off the ground, Sno Boat entered into an online voting competition, called the Intuit Program that gives out $5,000 grants to local businesses around Austin.

“The Intuit Program grants 15 wishes to 15 small businesses, so if we finish in the top 15 teams, we’ll get looked at and they’ll start from there,” said Christopher. “[The money] will help us get off the ground. In our case, it’s to help us purchase the kitchenware and the shaver, and a few other things.”

Even if they don’t win the grant, the team of young entrepreneurs hope to fundraise and give the company all the tools it needs to take off.

“We will bring a more fun and convenient factor;” said Bril. “It’s a pontoon boat on the lake, so it will have a different feel than a normal snow cone stand.”

Sno Boat is undergoing renovations starting on May 19th and will set sail on May 25th.