First ALIC Micro-grant Recipient To Develop Overlanding Vacation Company

Allegheny College student Ethan Scott ’25 is in the business of changing the way people view nature and the world as a whole.

An environmental science and sustainability major and economics minor, Scott has always had an interest in the outdoors. Now, he’s turning his passion for off-roading, adventuring, and camping into an overlanding vacation company with support from a micro-grant through the Allegheny Lab for Innovation and Creativity (ALIC).

Supported by Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the ALIC Concept Grant Program awards grants of up to $4,000 to students on a competitive basis. The program is designed to help students gather resources to transform their ambitious ideas to realization, including ones like Scott’s.

Overlanding, a form of self-reliant travel to remote destinations, is typically accommodated by vehicles such as vans or campers. As the first ALIC Concept Grant recipient, Scott invested in a van that he’ll use to provide guided overland tours to those who might not otherwise be inclined to try it solo. 

By providing these “beginner-friendly” tours, Scott hopes to give people the opportunity to experience overlanding and all it has to offer — something that wouldn’t have been possible without the micro-grant.

Photo of a camper vanMy business is heavily dependent on a vehicle as a means of transportation to remote destinations,” Scott says. “The ALIC micro-grant has provided me with the opportunity to take a big first step in building my business with the purchase of an expedition vehicle.”

Students awarded a micro-grant through ALIC are paired with a faculty member and a community mentor who help bring projects to life. Scott credits Professor Chris Allison with being particularly influential throughout the process of creating his business. 

“Ever since he arrived at Allegheny, Ethan has seemed driven to entrepreneurship,” says Allison, co-director of the College’s Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics. “What I like about his ideas is the fact that they are practical and actionable and all designed to make someone’s life easier. Solving a relevant problem most often leads to success.”

The ALIC Concept Grants act as a catalyst for students to advance their goals, preparing them for a post-graduation world, says Byron Rich, Allegheny director of academic innovation partnerships and associate professor of art. “We believe that it is important for students to begin to see the ways in which their rigorous liberal arts training is lived in a post-graduation world.”

Allegheny students can contact Professor Rich at with any questions about the program.