The Garage

The Garage: Nolan Family Center for Innovation

Amazon. Apple. Disney. Google. Mattel. Each started in a garage. Now it's your turn. 

The names mentioned above are just a few of the world's most innovative and successful companies, and they just so happened to be founded in garages. With the creation of a student-directed business incubator, Walsh University students have the opportunity to develop the enterprising skills they require to be ready for the entrepreneurial, global, dynamic workplace of tomorrow.

Our Story

In 2015, four students came up with an idea and wanted to start a business. They immediately went to the library to collaborate but quickly realized that the quiet environment was not suitable for innovation. Then they went to the cafeteria in hopes to have a more relaxed place to lash out idea but found that it was too loud to foster ideas. The dorm rooms were not suitable either, so these four students had to seek out a new place to operate. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, they built one. Josh Ippolito, Andrew Chwalik, Matt Strobelt, and Iagos Lucca found an old garage on campus and went to President Jusseaume, and the rest is history. The Garage is a student-run entrepreneurship program located on the campus of Walsh University. Our motto is "by students, for students" and that mantra is at the heart of everything we do. As an organization, we work with students who already have existing businesses and students who have ideas for startups. Our mission is to instill entrepreneurial and creative thinking in all Walsh University students who desire to sincerely pursue innovation while fostering a community of knowledge, imagination, and collaboration; to develop students into servant leaders who will have a lifelong commitment to social, economic, and personal growth through entrepreneurship.


Meet the Team

Austin Fantin - President
Austin may carry the title of President, but his role focuses on empowering others. His predisposition to collaboration allows him to facilitate and carry out the mission of The Garage, which is building a creative hub for all students. In addition to The Garage, he is primarily involved in the Student Managed Investment Portfolio and Campus Ministry. Social, organized, optimistic, and never stopping, Austin is tunnel-visioned on forming The Garage into the face of Walsh.
Michael Sproull - Director of Operations
Michael is a sophomore Accounting student with a minor in Data Analytics. He is a fan of trying to be everywhere and do everything because staying still is boring. During the day, he is a WU student government senator, president of Trek Club, and a member of a million other clubs. However, he likes to moonlight as the Director of Operations at The Garage where he manages the space’s hardware, supplies, calendar, and events. Seeing others have the resources and training to succeed is what he works toward.

Joe Knopp - Director of Entrepreneurship
Joe is a start up junky. He looks to make his mark on The Garage through his dedication to uplifting fellow entrepreneurs and connecting them with the resources that they need. He has started three legitimate businesses before the age of 20, but his most recent is by far the most prominent: Ripple. Ripple is a brand of serving others. His first product line is the Ripple water bottle. For every 2,000 bottles sold, the company builds a water well in a developing nation through strategic partnerships with organizations like Water Wells for Africa (WWFA). Overall, he believes in serving others, challenging the status quo, and being kind.

Sara Miller - Director of 3D Printing
Sara brings a technical and creative mindset to the group. Being a Nursing major, her holistic and logistical mindset along with her caring attitude allows her to be an expert problem solver. In addition to this, she is a highly skilled artist, which helps immensely in creating 3D designs. Also being involved in Nursing Club, a Maroon and Gold Mentor, and Cor Cordium, her uplifting style of leadership pushes all around her to perform at their best.
Garage logo
Madeline Weisburn - Director of Community Engagement
Madeline has a passion for creating strong communication networks. She has a distinct interest in design ethics and technology development, which serves her well as a marketing major. Madeline actively serves as American Marketing Association president, a member of Women of the Word, DeVille School of Business Mentorship Program, and Cor Cordium. Perpetually finding ways to immerse herself in the community, she seeks to listen, learn, and act to create opportunities for those around her.

What We Stand For


In the Garage, we focus on being supportive sounding boards for innovative ideas. We’re a group of friends, roommates, and everyday students (just like you) that pride ourselves on being unique. If you’re someone who thinks differently or sometimes feels like you’re a little “outside of the box…”


At the heart of the Garage, we are a community of people seeking to innovate and problem solve. We see opportunities for innovation in our everyday lives and choose to help bring it to life. We believe that everything can be improved upon as long as the right people are in the right place, at the right time.


The Garage was founded on the backs of the club’s first few entrepreneurs. They believed that it was important to have a space on campus that was “for the students, by the students” so we developed a space where students are able to express themselves and develop their idea as well as be a part of a community of innovators on campus.