Steve Dalmatian received his undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. He wanted to take some time off, but knew he would later pursue an MBA, believing the skills taught in that program would be vital in his life.
Steve's father was a career firefighter. He was able to secure an interview for Steve with the local fire department. Steve decided to apply, thinking the job would be good experience. Steve saw how much his father enjoyed firefighting and that helped him make the decision. Steve got the job and began basic training. After the 26 week session Steve was working full time with the department. Steve thought that there might be business opportunities related to firefighting because of its narrow scope. While working Steve studied all aspects of the agency hoping that some day he could start his own company in the industry.
After three years at the department, Steve decided to enroll in Loyola University's MBA program. He concentrated his coursework within the Entrepreneurial Department recognizing that he wanted to start his own business. Toward the end of his second year Steve heard about a business plan competition that gave out $50,000 for the first place plan. After careful consideration, Steve decided to enter the competition with a plan that he would write for a vendor of fire and rescue tools. Steve won the competition and decided to use the money to pursue this opportunity.