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Children and Youth First USA in the news

By Mary Galvez on March 24, 2015
Amanda Brown '15

Amanda Brown ’15

Check out two articles featuring Children and Youth First USA founded by Amanda Brown ’15. CYFUSA is the US branch of a Nepali NGO founded in 2008 to directly help marginalized children access their right to education. In Nepal, CYF runs a boarding school called Life Vision Academy, which currently provides a safe home and progressive education for 34 underprivileged children from across the country. These kids all come from challenging backgrounds, some are homeless, and all of the girls are the first of their families to receive a full education.

The USA team works independently in fundraising and grant writing to benefit the improvement and expansion of Life Vision Academy. The current goal is to purchase the school’s own property to escape the steep rent on the current plot, and then build a larger facility to accommodate 200 students by 2016.

On March 14, nearly 50 Colgate alumni, students, faculty, and parents came together for Colgate’s first ever off-campus Hackathon to create innovative ways to boost up CYF as part of Colgate’s Day of Impact . Hosted by Jeff O’Connell ’94 at his downtown Maker Studios offices, the Colgate Hackathon involved engineers, computer coders, and technicians who helped Amanda enhance the web presence of CYFUSA. Read the full article.

On March 20, Amanda wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post Business section entitled Why Colgate’s Day of Impact Matters. In the post Amanda speaks about her organization, why she has taken on this cause, and how the Colgate community has come together to support her efforts. Amanda is truly an inspiring young lady and will speak at the TIA reception during eWeekend about her experiences. Please plan on joining us.

(Left to right) Thought Into Action founder Andy Greenfield ’74, P’12, digital technology network volunteer Jeff O’Connell ’94, Amanda Brown ’15, and Thought Into Action Executive Director Wills Hapworth ’07 during Colgate’s Hackathon on Saturday, March 14

(Left to right) Thought Into Action founder Andy Greenfield ’74, P’12, digital technology network volunteer Jeff O’Connell ’94, Amanda Brown ’15, and Thought Into Action Executive Director Wills Hapworth ’07 during Colgate’s Hackathon on Saturday, March 14

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Apply to Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund 2015 for a chance at $15K

By Mary Galvez on February 25, 2015
Recipients of funding work in the incubator space that occupies a former hardware store in downtown Hamilton.

Recipients of funding work in the incubator space that occupies a former hardware store in downtown Hamilton.

The TIA team is THRILLED to return with the Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund. The fund was established in 2013 to grow the ventures of Colgate student and alumni entrepreneurs who are solving big problems and have demonstrated an ability to execute. A grant of $15,000 is given to each of the winning teams to help bring their ventures to commercial viability while incubating in Hamilton, NY.

The awards are decided based on the quality of the venture and team. The fund is open to for-profit ventures and must have at least one Colgate member on the founding team.

Over the past two years, eleven teams have been awarded $165,000. Many of these teams have gone on to raise additional rounds of capital, have been part of esteemed programs such as TechStars, and achieved profitability with their ventures.

Ventures are judged by a panel of alumni and parent entrepreneurs on a number of different criteria, including; ability to execute, team, commercial/social impact, impact of problem being solved and solution proposed, viability of bringing the project to fruition, stage of development, etc. We are seeking more than just an idea; prototypes and customers are a plus, as is additional interest and support from outside investors.

More information about eligibility, award benefits, & judging criteria, can be found HERE.

At least one member of the founding team must reside in the village of Hamilton for the full six-week duration of the incubator. Awardees will have access to entrepreneurial mentors in the Colgate community and the regional startup ecosystem in Central New York, and will be introduced to potential investors. Teams maintain all rights to their intellectual property and are provided with office space.

Applications are now open and due by March 20, 2015…but don’t procrastinate. APPLY TODAY!

Awards will be announced on April 11th @ Colgate’s Entrepreneurs Weekend.

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Colgate Day of Impact – NYC Hackathon

By Mary Galvez on February 25, 2015

Powered by the Common Good Network, the Digital Media & Technology Network, and the Entrepreneur Network.

hackathon
Saturday, March 14, 2015
10:00 a.m. | Teams Formed, Hacking Begins
5:00 p.m. | Presentations & Reception

Do you like to solve problems? Please join us for the first-ever off-campus Colgate Hackathon in New York City! This hackathon will gather smart, capable Colgate alumni, students, and parents to solve real world problems for the Colgate Thought Into Action Institute and for a student-run venture called Children & Youth First (CYFUSA), a not-for-profit run by Amanda Brown ’15 designed to educate young women in Nepal.

For more information and to register, see HERE.

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TIA blog series: Project Wrist Key by Tyler Sherper ’17

By Contributing Writer on January 20, 2015
Tyler Sherper '17

Tyler Sherper ’17

To lock, or not to lock. That is the question. Every time we walk out the door we have two simple options: lock our door at the risk of losing our keys which could result in a call to campus safety and a hefty lost key fine, or take the gamble and leave our door unlocked – vulnerable to the common thief.

Project Wrist Key is a bracelet that allows users to store their key by wearing it. My freshman year I started out locking my door when I went out, having to lug my key everywhere. After a couple of late night calls to campo and lost key fines, I was sick of it and just kept my door unlocked. Unfortunately, I fell victim to dorm room theft and had to resume locking my door. Project Wrist Key is the simple solution to a common problem, one that I think I can help a lot of people with.

Last semester I worked closely with a couple of mentors, specifically my group leader John Nozell ’81. He’s inspired my business decisions and shown unwavering encouragement. Furthermore, I’ve gotten strong support from Mary Galvez and Wills Hapworth ’07, while Paul Pollock ’82 has helped immensely with the legalities regarding patent content and business structure. I’m extremely grateful for theirProject Wrist Key time and guidance, and I can’t thank them enough.

The biggest challenge that I’ve been facing is the whole engineering side of my venture – I’m learning my strengths quickly and weaknesses even quicker. I’ve had to become an engineer, a sourcing expert, a salesman, an accountant – all within the last couple of months (some better than others). Adapting and executing things I have no prior knowledge on how to do has been the biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome, but I can’t explain how exciting learning something new is. It puts everything into perspective, revealing how all the many puzzle pieces fall into place to build your business.

This semester I plan on nailing down production, perfecting the first product, and then distributing it to my suppliers. I see Project Wrist Key reaching various aspects of the wearables market in the very near future, so stay tuned.

Tyler Sherper ’17 is from Mercer Island, Washington. She is an attacker for the women’s lacrosse team at Colgate and is a Molecular Neuroscience major and a Sociology minor. She is a member of the Delta Tau Chapter of Gamma Phi Beta sorority and is a passionate hiker and photographer.

 

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TIA blog series: Fair Harbor by Jake Danehy ’16

By Contributing Writer on December 16, 2014
Jake Danehy

Jake Danehy ’16

Fair Harbor is a lifestyle brand that is based on the idea of the simplicity of summer and our dedication to the environment. We make men’s bathing suits out of recycled water bottles, using proven, high quality yarn. Every year 50 million plastic water bottles are discarded after just one use. These water bottles end up in landfills, the oceans, or are burned. Because of this, we believe that water bottles should be recycled, melted down, and turned into products that can be worn/used everyday. It is our mission to create a high quality performance product that embodies the pureness and simplicity that is Fair Harbor.

Fair Harbor is a town on Fire Island, New York — a place we went as kids and learned how to surf. Fair Harbor defines summer: clean beaches, no cars, the smell of salt water in the air. Because of our ties to and love of Fair Harbor, we feel that it is our responsibility to clean the oceans of plastic waste, so that everyone can always enjoy the luxuries of summer for a long time to come. Because of our passion for the outdoors, we donate 5% of our profits to the Surfrider Foundation, an organization that cleans up beaches, helping restore natural order to the ocean.

We came up with this idea because we love the ocean and want to keep it clean. We also saw a gap in the existing market for timelessly fashionable performance bathing suits. Because of the gap in the market and our dedication to the environment, we believe that Fair Harbor will be a success.

TIA has been incredible for Fair Harbor. I cannot express how helpful it has been to bounce ideas off of experienced and very knowledgeable entrepreneurs. The mentors in TIA have been through the start up process before, making their guidance and expertise extremely valuable to our venture. I honestly cannot thank them enough for their time.Fair Harbor

A few mentors that have been extremely helpful to our venture in particular have been my group leaders, Lynn Plant ’77 and Greg Dahlberg ’98. They have been instrumental in helping my team and me through some of the challenges that we have faced. Also, Wills Hapworth ’07, Andy Greenfield ’74 and Dina Dunn ’88 have been extremely helpful and very positive about our venture. Lastly, Paul Pollock ’82 has been exceptionally helpful by providing the legal service that we need to become a business and protect our brand.

Again I am so grateful for all of their help along the way, and cannot thank them enough for their time.

The biggest challenge that we have faced has been putting all of the pieces together to develop the bathing suits. Before we started, the process seemed pretty easy: go find fabric, make a design, and produce the product. We have found out, however, that it is much more complicated than that and there are many parties involved in developing a garment.

After running around for a few months trying to do everything ourselves, we finally hooked up with a manufacturing firm who helps entrepreneurs every step of the way, with product design, sourcing, sample making, sizing, and manufacturing. Sweenie Manufacturing has been great and if everything goes as planned, we foresee a production run of 500 pieces within the next few months.

Over the next semester we plan on making sure that our samples fit great and once we get that down we will move on to manufacturing. We are making one bathing suit design, with five different styles, 100 pieces of each style. I see this brand going far as we will not limit our brand to bathing suits. After we develop our bathing suit and are comfortable in the market, we will then expand our line to other beachwear, all with a vision of being sustainable, embodying the classic feel of Fair Harbor.

Jake Danehy ’16 is from Larchmont, New York and a goalie on the Colgate men’s lacrosse team. He is a geography major and has taken many classes on sustainability and properly allocating our resources. He is extremely passionate about the outdoors and loves all types of recreational activities and fitness. He has partnered with his 17 year old sister, Caroline (incoming class of 2019!) who has a strong interest and adoration for fashion, as well as his best friend, Sam who is a business and entrepreneurial studies major at USC.

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TIA blog series: The Condom Truck, by Emily Hawkins ’15 and Katie Williams ’15

By Contributing Writer on November 12, 2014
Emily Hawkins, The Condom Truck

Emily Hawkins ’15

Our venture is The Condom Truck, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to stimulate conversation about sexual health and positive sexuality. We distribute condoms labeled with three conversation starters, encouraging individuals to chat about sex in a fun, respectful way. With The Condom Truck, we hope to give people the tools, language, and permission to make sexy talk fun and exciting. We developed the idea on a car ride to Colgate Inn Trivia Night in July 2013, and instantly thought of TIA as the opportunity to turn our conversation into a reality, and a reality we can share.

TIA has given us a structured forum in which to develop our ideas. We were nervous to bring the idea to TIA because we understand that our venture is quite different than other ventures and deals with potentially more sensitive and personal topics. The support we have received, and continue to receive, from our mentors and fellow mentees has been paramount in turning our ideas into realities.

Katie Williams, The Condom Truck

Katie Williams ’15

Our next steps involve procuring an actual truck (only requirements: must be purple and have a side window), and determining a plan of action in terms of Condom Truck events and interactions. We also want to move beyond the conversation starter condoms, and expand our inventory of positive sexuality goodies.

The biggest challenge so far has been communicating our idea. It is easy for us to talk about positive sexuality, but explaining the foundation of our mission has had its difficulties; we are trying to change a conversation, not build a product. To that same effect, people are intrigued by our venture, and want to know more. This has helped us expand our support network and engage more individuals in the positive sexuality conversation. We’re super excited to continue building our venture!

Follow us on Instagram: @thecondomtruck

Emily Hawkins ’15  is a Peace and Conflict major and a Women’s studies minor and comes to Colgate from Honolulu, HI. She is passionate about issues of gender equality and has, while at Colgate, immersed herself in the positive sexuality movement. On campus, she is the program coordinator of Yes Means Yes, a 6-week, student-facilitated positive sexuality seminar; production manager of “This is Not a Play About Sex,” a student written and produced play; a three-year member of Link Staff, Colgate’s First-Year Orientation leaders and yearlong mentors; and president of the Konosioni Senior Honor Society.

Katie Williams ’15 is a  Geography and History double major from Washington, D.C. On campus she is the co-leader of the Swinging ‘Gates, Colgate’s only all-female a capella group; the co-president of the newly founded Geographers Without Borders club; a member of Colgate’s Campus Master Planning Committee; and Senior Admission Fellow. It was her experience in Colgate’s Yes Means Yes positive sexuality seminar that inspired her ventures in TIA. 

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My story: Ram Parimi ’05, Social Tables

By Mary Galvez on October 23, 2014

At TIA, we know our strongest asset is our extensive and committed bank of entrepreneur mentors. Made up of alumni, parents, and community members, our mentors bring a wealth of experience, from successes and failures, in the startup world. It’s their experience that allows them to guide our student entrepreneurs to develop the insight, attention to detail, and dedication that they’ll need, not by lecturing them or giving out the answers, but by spurring them to action and fueling their passion. We asked a few of our mentors to provide updates on their companies and we would like to share those with you. We hope you find them as inspiring as we do.

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Social Tables – Ram Parimi ’05

RamIn 2012 I started at Social Tables on our founding team of 5 to build and lead our sales efforts. Today my team is 15 and our company has 60 employees. Our award-winning event management software is used by Social Tablescatering sales teams at Hyatt International and Caesars Entertainment; national nonprofits such as Boys and Girls Club of America and The Recording Academy; corporate event planning teams such as Genentech and Forbes; advancement teams at world-renowned academic institutions such as Harvard Business School and Stanford University; and venues such as Navy Pier and MetLife Stadium.

In July, Social Tables secured $8 million in series A funding led by Tier 1 venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP). The funding allows us to take more risks and bring our vision of helping people achieve great things to life! With more than 200,000 events planned in the software in the last 2 years, we are pioneering the movement to bring collaborative software to the hospitality & event planning industry.

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My story: Charlie Lambropoulos ’07, LYFE Mobile

By Mary Galvez on October 23, 2014

At TIA, we know our strongest asset is our extensive and committed bank of entrepreneur mentors. Made up of alumni, parents, and community members, our mentors bring a wealth of experience, from successes and failures, in the startup world. It’s their experience that allows them to guide our student entrepreneurs to develop the insight, attention to detail, and dedication that they’ll need, not by lecturing them or giving out the answers, but by spurring them to action and fueling their passion. We asked a few of our mentors to provide updates on their companies and we would like to share those with you. We hope you find them as inspiring as we do.

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LYFE Mobile – Charlie Lambropoulos ’07

charlieIn May, the ad tech start-up I co-founded, LYFE, was sold to Blinkx, a video search technology company. It took 2.5 years to build LYFE, which is a mobile real time bidding and data management advertising platformLYFE and had 12 employees in Santa Monica, CA. We all now work for Blinkx, where I am Sr. Director of Business Operations and our team is working to help the company strengthen their programmatic ad products. Working for a larger company has definitely been a major transition, but it is exciting to have the chance to further scale the technology we created over the last few years.

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My story: Janice Ryan ’94, Jump Ramp Games

By Mary Galvez on October 23, 2014

At TIA, we know our strongest asset is our extensive and committed bank of entrepreneur mentors. Made up of alumni, parents, and community members, our mentors bring a wealth of experience, from successes and failures, in the startup world. It’s their experience that allows them to guide our student entrepreneurs to develop the insight, attention to detail, and dedication that they’ll need, not by lecturing them or giving out the answers, but by spurring them to action and fueling their passion. We asked a few of our mentors to provide updates on their companies and we would like to share those with you. We hope you find them as inspiring as we do.

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Jump Ramp Games – Janice Ryan ’94

janiceTrying to grow a start-up from the initial vision to a profitable business is never an easy job. It’s a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs. As the VP of Product and Platform at Jump Ramp Games, I can say jump ramp gamesproudly that our new native Android app, Lucktastic has reached almost 1 million downloads in less than 6 months from when it was first launched! We started out promoting smaller advertisers in our app and now are landing direct deals with national brands. We have become profitable, and our team has grown from just 4 employees 18 months ago to 15 full-time employees today. Now we’re in the process of fundraising for our next growth round, so that we can continue to grow exponentially.


Read more about Janice and the Thought Into Action Entrepreneurship Institute


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Chicory, founded by Joey Petracca ’13 and Yuni Sameshima ’13 featured in Wired

By Mary Galvez on October 6, 2014
The Chicory team, from left: Joey Petracca, COO; Yuni Sameshima, CEO; Adam Donahue, CTO Chicory

The Chicory team, from left: Joey Petracca, COO; Yuni Sameshima, CEO; Adam Donahue, CTO Chicory

Joey Petracca ’13 and Yuni Sameshima ’13 continue to make strides with the venture they began in the Thought Into Action Student Incubator. Their startup, Chicory, is a site that connects recipe-hunting consumers to on-line grocers. They recently graduated from NYC’s premiere business accelerator program Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, where they worked with a number of experienced mentors whose advice led them to pivot and make some changes to their original vision for the company.  On Tuesday September 30th, Yuni presented Chicory in front of over 850 investors from NYC and all over the world. At the pitch Chicory announced major partnerships with Time Inc and the Daily Meal to get over chicory65 million impressions a month on their technology. Both myrecipes.com and thedailymeal.com are installing Chicory’s “get ingredients” button and testing out Chicory’s technology that links recipe content to online grocers. Read the full article in Wired.


Read more about Chicory and the Thought Into Action Entrepreneurship Institute


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