Cailey Rankin is a hometown girl from Bonners Ferry, now preparing to graduate with honors with a business degree from Boise State University. She is hoping for her community's support as she and her team of entrpreneurs compete for funding for their business idea, BLink.
"BLink is a digital business card/connection app," she writes. "Business cards seem like a great way to build a connection, but statistics show that 88-percent of business cards are either lost, forgotten or thrown away within the first week of handing them out. With our app service, we seek to fix this problem by using a QR code on your smartphone. All a person has to do is scan the QR code on your phone and your digital business card is instantly sent to the receiver's phone to be saved and stored for later use.
"BLink doesn't just focus on business cards, though, as we also offers other tools such the ability to share your resume, website, Youtube channel, as well as Yelp reviews all within the BLink of an eye. We help users build a connection that won't get lost, forgotten, or thrown away."
Cailey was home schooled and earned her associates degree at North Idaho College. After graduating from NIC with honors, she said she was eager to take the skills that NIC provided and apply them at my transfer school Boise State University.
"North Idaho College fostered my love for public speaking as I competed and won secnd place in an NIC speech competition against 25 other contestants," she said. "After transferring to BSU to get my general business degree, I soon joined the speech and debate team, ‘Talkin’ Broncos,’ and competed on the national level. I received the first speaker award at the Mahaffey Memorial Tournament in Mcminville, Oregon, and was named a top eight debater in the nation by Hofstra University in New York."
At North Idaho College, she took their 101 sailing course multiple times and was later encouraged to race sailboats competitively through the Sandpoint Sailing Association as well as the Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Sailing club.
"I had an amazing mentor, Captain David Kilmer, who gave me much needed sailboat advice and helped connect me to some extraordinary sailors," she said. "It was through the foundation I received from Kootenai County that helped me go on to work as a deckhand/chief medical officer onboard the Harvey Gamage in Portland, Maine, to sail the Atlantic for several months. However, out of all my adventures and travels, there has been no place like Northern Idaho. I can truly say the beautiful landscapes and extraordinary people cannot be found anywhere else. I am beyond thrilled to return home once I graduate this December to the only place I have ever truly considered home."
She also credits her family for the strong foundation she's developed.
"My parents Mark Rankin and Christina Rankin are amazing individuals who have inspired me to work hard and remain dedicated to whatever I put my mind to," she said. "My graduation would not be possible if it weren't for their amazing advice, and incredible guidance throughout my life! I love my brothers Ryan Rankin, Tyler Rankin and Dylan Rankin, who are amazing people whom I look up to greatly! Dylan Rankin is graduating high school this year!"
Cailey is also grateful for the help and support of her teammates in the development of BLink as a viable business. Together they have advanced to the semi-finals stage of the BSU competition, which has them going head-to-head with 22 other teams.
Kaela is a senior at BSU pursuing a double major in business administration and entrepreneurial management as well as a minor in marketing.
"She is very passionate and driven and puts a lot of hard work into all that she does in and out of school," Cailey said. "She is also currently part of the 2020 Global Scholars Program, where she and her fellow team will be studying abroad in Spain to conduct research on the Iberian Gray wolf. She also serves as the current financial officer for the Social Entrepreneurship Student Organization on campus. Some of her hobbies include cooking, playing DnD, and exploring the outdoors."
Kalyn is also graduating BSU this month with a business degree. He is a husband and father of three. He likes the outdoors and spending time with his family. In the future he wants to own a business.
Brandon is from Virginia City and a Senior at BSU pursuing a degree in human resource management and certificates in leadership and conflict resolution. He is a member of Phi Gamma Delta and a resident assistant on campus. Next year he is moving to Florida to take part in the Disney College Program and hopefully continue with the company.
Those who'd like to help the team win the BSU business competition can do so by clicking here, then voting by clicking on "BLink." That's all there is to it! The whole team will appreciate your help!