Riverpoint Academy helps local business save time, money

SPOKANE, Wash. - A group of students at Riverpoint Academy in Mead are helping a local business save money, and it allows them to get real world experience and help local business owners in the process.

They are working on a piece of equipment that will save a local business owner time.

Pete Franz owns the Malted Mutt, the business that makes dog treats out of beer grain and sells them at breweries. the problem is that he has to make the treats one by one.

Franz and his wife Katie launched the company in 2014, but they say cutting the treats is getting old.

"We literally have to go through and do them individually," said Franz.

The small cut out isn't cutting it.

"It can easily take me an hour or longer," said Franz.

Can you imagine pumping out three thousand dog treats a week? And still keeping your full-time job?

"The kitchen costs Katie and I $15 to use," said Franz.

Students at Riverpoint Academy, a project-based high school in Mead, are up for the challenge.

"We just kind of put our ideas together and are starting prototyping," said Liam Maddox, a student at Riverpoint Academy.

Franz asked them to help him save time.

"[It] gives them real world experience and then it helps us out as well," said Franz.

In just weeks, Maddox and his team did not just come up with an idea, they built a prototype that would help Peter eventually cut 60 cookies at a time.

"I want to be an engineer. Designing an actual product, that's something I can put on my resume to give me a head start," said John Becker, a Riverpoint Academy Student.

"It saves me time, money, lets me focus on parts of the business I want to," said Franz.

Those students hope to have the equipment built and in the kitchen in the next month or so.

Teachers said the students helping Malted Mutt are not the only students getting involved like this. Since Riverpoint opened three years ago, about 70 students have also worked directly with businesses.


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