Before rolling out the bowling balls and clearing the lanes for opening day, River City Roll requested an MBA Capstone Project to set the new business up for success.

“We wanted to validate the concept and check our assumptions before we opened,” said Rob Long, managing member of River City Roll. He and Ben Eubanks, GB’13, are spearheading the new bowling alley for Scott’s Addition, set to open May 1.

Kristen Killea and Greg Millette, GB’17, completed their Capstone Project for River City Roll in December of 2017. They worked with Debbie Fisher to choose a project that would fit their interests and needs for graduation.

“River City Roll immediately appealed to us,” Killea said. “We both work at a large company, and we liked the idea of working with a smaller business that was only beginning in Richmond. Of course, the concept is a ton of fun, too.”

River City Roll is a boutique bowling alley and restaurant, the brainchild of Rob Long, who partnered with MBA alumnus Ben Eubanks, GB'13. Killea and Millette reviewed the plans for the bowling alley and restaurant before the business opens its doors in a few months

“Through conversations with River City Roll's co-founders, we determined that the business needed our help developing a multi-faceted marketing plan,” Killea said. “We also made sure to incorporate financial, strategic, and operational considerations.”

Millette and Killea agree that the opportunity to work with an MBA alumnus on their final project as MBA students was one they couldn’t pass up.

“It definitely helped the process go smoothly because he completed a Capstone Project of his own before,” Millette said. “We also felt we had an opportunity to show him how The Richmond MBA has continued to grow and improve since his graduation.”

Through their project, Millette and Killea recommended ways River City Roll can make a statement when it enters the business landscape in RVA, and have a strong future.

“We identified a target audience, and conducted secondary research at similar venues to create a marketing strategy that could fit River City Roll’s needs,” Killea said. “It was a rewarding experience for Greg and me.”

They also created a list of social media influencers to help Eubanks and Long spread the word before the grand opening.

“Kristen and Greg did an outstanding job,” Long said. “They used their extensive survey to help us better define our target audience and change the approach to reach them. They gave us action items that will be executed almost exactly how they proposed.”

“Overall, the experience was excellent,” Eubanks said. “The Capstone is the culmination of The Richmond MBA. It’s a great way to create a long-term relationship with current and future students, which means a lot to me as an alumnus. Our team is extremely grateful to Kristen and Greg for all their hard work, and I can foresee other Capstone Projects with MBA students in the future.”

Eubanks says construction is on schedule for the business to open May 1, 2018. Their key operations managers are in place, and they are scheduling events after the official opening.

Richmond Bizsense is holding a hard hat happy hour in the new space on February 28 for those who want a sneak peek. 

For more information on Capstone Projects, click here.