Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Coach, Player and Alumnus Go Green For GU

Three generations of Georgetown soccer. One goal.

For volunteer assistant coach Brian Foote, former team captain Ricky Schramm (COL ’07), and current junior forward Jose Colchao, that goal is to go green.

“We are very much a Georgetown-incubated business, and we’re trying to give Georgetown back what it has given to us,” Schramm says.

With that in mind, these three Hoya entrepreneurs began a business called Go Raise Green here in Washington, D.C last fall. The company’s mission is to provide sustainable solutions via eco-friendly products that can act as a direct alternative to their disposable counterparts; included among these products are stainless steel water bottles, coffee tumblers and reusable bags.

But what sets Go Raise Green apart is its focus on greening campuses and athletic organizations, in particular Georgetown University and its soccer program. In fact, Foote’s idea for the business was born here on the Hilltop last season.

“Part of my job description [is] to market and raise money for the [men’s soccer] program,” he said. “One day I was getting a ball underneath the [bleachers at North Kehoe Field] and I saw that there were a lot of used plastic bottles and coffee cups. I thought that one thing we could do is create the reusable equivalent of those with our logo on it as a way of raising money for the program.”

With the help of Schramm, a current assistant director of Hoyas Unlimited, Foote coordinated a fundraiser outside North Kehoe Field later in the season selling stainless steel water bottles that featured the Georgetown soccer logo.

“The fact that it says Georgetown instead of Safeway is the key to getting people to use [the bottles],” Foote says. “What I’ve discovered is that people are ready to go green as soon as you put something on that green item that makes sense to them.”

With the success of that fundraiser, Go Raise Green was born. But it needed a staff.

“I’ve always had an interest in business and marketing, and Brian said he had this idea that there might be a business down the road. I told him that I’d love to help out and learn from the ground level,” Colchao says. “A couple months later, he asked me to be his intern.”

The junior now works in business development for Go Raise Green and is taking advantage of a unique opportunity.

“It’s something that I feel like I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to take part in until maybe 10 years after I graduated,” he says. “From the smallest things up to important things that involve the development of the company, it’s been pretty cool so far.”

Since its birth in the fall, Go Raise Green has worked with a long list of educational and athletic organizations in D.C. and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia areas to help them use sustainable products that can benefit their communities in multiple ways. By customizing product packages with a particular client’s logo for use in promotion and fundraising, Foote hopes to help youth sports organizations maintain their programs during these tough economic times in a manner that will be friendly to both the environment and the health of the community.

“In youth sports, fundraising is still all about wrapping paper, candy and cookie dough, none of which is environmentally friendly or healthy,” Foote says.

With Go Raise Green, Foote hopes to shift the idea of a fundraising item from those he mentioned to those that his company offers. In his eyes, everyone – the environment, the organization and the community – will win.

“I’m really proud that we’ve achieved a way for people, for a total of 10 dollars, using our bag, bottle and tumbler, to green their lives on a very tangible, measurable way at a low price point with products that mean something to them,” he says. “That for me is the biggest win for us.”

While Foote says he is still working on increasing the profitability of the business, he has no doubts that Go Raise Green and its principles of spirit, style and sustainability will lead to a successful business venture and – more importantly – an improved community and healthier environment.

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