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The Bronco business connection: From design, to robots, to wine

Pink Robot Studios

Pink Robot Studios founder David Bridgeman
David Bridgeman

Now in his second year as a student at Boise State, web design firm Pink Robot Studios founder David Bridgeman wants to make his mark helping small businesses develop their web presence. Since starting the business in October 2020, he has built more than a dozen sites, offering discounts for young people running their own companies.

His time at Boise State, he said, has helped him appreciate how commerce can shape communities, and he wants Pink Robot to embody his aspirations and his values.

“I want my business to be a driving force for people like Boise State students: people who want to start something like I do,” he said. “College students are motivated and
driven to change the world around them.”

SCORIA Vineyards

James and Sydney Nederend
James and Sydney Nederend

In the Sunnyslope grape-growing region near Caldwell, two alumni have helped maintain a prominent winery legacy while contributing to the science of viniculture. James and Sydney Nederend founded SCORIA Vineyards and Winery in 2014 and released wines under their own label in 2017.

Then, in 2019, the Nederends bought Koenig Vineyards in the Sunnyslope area, including its 7,000-case brand, tasting room, production facility, winemaking contracts and 10 acres of vineyards.

The sale extended a working relationship with David Wilkins, a professor in the Department of Geosciences, who studies soils and climate at 10 wine grape-growing
sites in the Snake River Valley. Their collaboration with Wilkins is one way the Nederends continue to engage with the university that gave them the skills to succeed in Idaho’s growing wine industry.

“Growing up, we had the practical abilities and work,” James Nederland said. “What we needed was the finance side of business that we got from Boise State University.”


Al Youngwerth
Al Youngwerth

Two decades ago, Al Youngwerth used Boise State’s TechHelp program to build the motorcycle clutch that launched his company Rekluse Motor Sports. Now the founder, president and CEO of VersaBuilt, Youngwerth said the manufacturing robots he builds can help small American companies recover from the pandemic-related economic slump.

“With a little training, the average machine shop can ease [computer-programmed robots] into their business and use them just like any other tool to be more effective and
competitive,” he said.

VersaBuilt machines use new technology to help the makers of everything from firearms to engine parts produce runs of multiple products, letting them ramp up production faster while reducing labor and specialized equipment costs. Youngwerth’s firm is just one of many that can trace its beginnings to Boise State, contributing to the university’s local, regional and global impact.