August 22, 2016 | 2 p.m.
By Jenny Hudalla '15, content specialist
For senior media production major Andrew Hed, education is about more than studying hard and making the dean’s list—it’s about applying his knowledge to demonstrate excellence outside of Bethel. And that’s exactly what Hed did when he produced a video that won his family’s business a $7,500 grant this summer.
Hed Cycling, a competitive bicycle wheel manufacturer, was one of 10 businesses nationwide to receive the 2016 FedEx Small Business Grant. Besides submitting a compelling video, the company had to demonstrate a strong social media presence, a user-friendly website, and a preparedness to mentor other small businesses in order to win the grant. They plan to use the prize money to buy machine automation that will increase their capacity for in-house manufacturing.
Hed’s work isn’t just about growing the business—it’s also about honoring his father, Steve Hed ’77, who died unexpectedly in November 2014. After graduating from Bethel with a history degree, Steve launched Hed Cycling with his wife, Anne, in 1984. According to Hed, calling his father an industry icon is an understatement. Steve pioneered the design and construction of carbon-fiber aerodynamic bicycle wheels, and his products are used by Olympic champions and professional athletes worldwide.
"Steve Hed was an absolute blast to have as a father,” Hed says. “He encouraged me to dream big, work hard, and never miss an opportunity to have fun. His passing was very difficult, but Bethel has helped by giving me a place to grow and continue to dream.”
When Hed found out his family’s business was among the top 100 finalists for the FedEx grant, he had less than a week to produce the second-round submission video that ultimately won Hed Cycling the award. While he was up against steep competition, Hed says his Bethel education taught him to pursue goals that might otherwise seem unattainable.
“My communication professors have shown me that whatever the challenge ahead, it’s important to innovate, keep dreaming of the big picture, and work hard,” Hed says. “This education has equipped me with skills I will use not only professionally, but also spiritually and personally, for the rest of my life.”Read more about Hed Cycling in the Star Tribune, and don’t forget to check out Hed’s grant-winning video.