The enterprising spirit: Two students awarded Darby Fellowship for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Lucas Crow and Lane Osborn

Lucas Crow and Lane Osborn are the recent recipients of the Darby Fellowship for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Two up-and-coming student entrepreneurs from the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business were recently awarded the Darby Fellowship for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to help support their entrepreneurial efforts and enterprising spirits. 

Seniors Lucas Crow and Lane Osborn will each receive a $1,000 scholarship as well as additional mentoring, networking opportunities and professional development funding to help cover travel costs to conferences, membership fees, training and/or small grants for startup/prototype costs.

The Darby Fellowship for Entrepreneurship and Innovation program – which is open to all students enrolled at the Trulaske College of Business – is the result of a generous gift from Scott (BS BA ’06) and Stephanie (BS BA ’06) Darby to support student entrepreneurs. Recipients are selected based on their entrepreneurial skills and capabilities, which could include starting a business, taking entrepreneurship classes, participating in entrepreneurship activities or contests, or taking on leadership roles in student organizations. 

Meet the newest Darby fellows:

Lucas Crow
Lucas Crow

Columbia, Missouri
Marketing and computer science 

Crow’s first entrepreneurial venture was in 2021 with Novel Connections, a book subscription company that provided members with a signed book and invited authors to speak with the readers and aspiring writers. Although the startup garnered loyal customers from all over the United States, the company closed after five months because the low margins were not worth the time it took to organize all aspects of the business. 

However, using lessons learned from his first business, Crow joined business partner Noah Fouts and developed Fynch Interactive, a soon-to-be launched startup offering multiplayer games – Project ARDEN and The Perishables – on the Roblox platform. The new business will also sell in-game currencies for purchasing virtual products, private servers, game passes and avatar shop items.  

At Mizzou, Crow was part of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s 2024 Entrepreneurship Alliance Accelerator and successfully pitched Fynch Interactive at Missouri StartUp Weekend, placing third among a field of seasoned entrepreneurs. He is also director of outreach for MU Robotics, a student organization committed to the advancement of robotics opportunities at Mizzou. He works part time remotely as a data integration associate for ResMed in Columbia. 

Lane Osborn
Lane Osborn

Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Business administration

Osborn, who has worked in electric utility construction, has invented and launched the Pole Buddy, a first-of-its-kind aerial mounted tooling device. The idea for the device came from Osborn’s own experience working power lines and seeing far too many loose tools and equipment drop to the ground. The Pole Buddy can be attached to an aerial platform, bucket truck or pole to help power-line workers keep track of their tools and materials.

Osborn has obtained a provisional patent and anticipates full patent approval by the end of the summer. He has secured manufacturing in St. Louis and has already sold more than 100 units across 15 states.

Osborn, who is seeking an online BS BA from the Trulaske College of Business, works full time as supervisor of distribution system operations at Evergy, an electric service company in the Kansas City metropolitan area. He is currently working on several other inventions that could benefit other industries, including automotive and aviation manufacturers.