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Shawn Whitiak

Major: Business Management
Graduation Year: 2014

"Living his Dream with Besta Cork"

Keystone College senior Shawn Whitiak was excited in May, 2013, when he won the Great Valley Technology Alliance Business Plan Competition for having the best business plan among local college students. But the enthusiasm for his new company, Besta Cork, was only the beginning for a young man with dreams of becoming a world-class entrepreneur.

Shawn and his business partner Michelle Mendez are well on their way to making Besta Cork, which manufactures environmentally friendly products from cork, a smashing success. The new company has set up shop in the state-of-the-art Tek Ridge business incubator in JessupPa. As winners of the Business Plan Competition, Besta Cork received a cash prize and funding for office space, business services, and advertising.

 Besta Cork Ribbon Cutting
Photo Caption: Besta Cork Ribbon Cutting October 2013

“It’s really been an exciting ride so far and we’re just getting started,” said Shawn, who will officially graduate from Keystone in May, 2014 with bachelor of science degree in business.

Shawn is proud that Besta Cork manufactures useful and attractive products that are also environmentally friendly since they are made from biodegradable cork. So far, the most popular products are recyclable flower containers, bowls, and children’s stools. The company also sells the popular Corkit & Sprout Gift Set of flower pots and sprout pencils. When the pencil becomes too short to write with, users simply plant it inside the cork bowl and watch it grow into a real live plant.

“Of course, we are all working really hard to make our new business succeed,” said Shawn. “Everything has been going great and it’s especially satisfying to make products which are environmentally sustainable. We feel really good about that.”

Shawn credits his Keystone education and his business professors for helping him develop the skills and creativity needed to start his own company.

“My Keystone education provided me with the business fundamentals I needed to launch Besta Cork and help make it successful. Just as important, the encouragement and guidance I received from my professors and classmates made my experience even more special. I’m really looking forward to building Besta Cork in the months and years ahead.”   

Besta Cork was featured on WNEP Home and Backyard on January 25, 2014

For more information on Shawn and his company, visit

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