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TIA / Entrepreneurs Fund featured on Syracuse WSYR-TV

By Mary Galvez on June 27, 2017

 

(Reprinted from Syr.com, June 19, 2017)

HAMILTON (WSYR-TV) – On a rainy Monday morning, several Colgate University students are inside a Hamilton incubator space thinking up their next big idea.

They’re part of Colgate’s Thought Into Action program, which awards grants to current students and alumni looking to solve problems.

“They’re accessing and resourcing the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to solve those problems,” Wills Hapworth, the Alumni Executive Director of the program said.

Ventures [that are] part of the project include a product that makes it more difficult to drop a cell phone, a sports highlight app, and several businesses around the Hamilton business district.

One of those businesses, Good Nature Brewing, received a $12,000 grant from the program several years ago. What started as a small tap room in Hamilton has expanded into a brewing facility and restaurant in the village.

“This solves a big problem,” Carrie Blackmore, Good Nature’s owner, said. “There were no breweries in Madison County and it was very difficult to find local beer at all.”

As an alumna, Blackmore was eligible for funding through one of Thought Into Action’s funds. She turned her grant into a successful company that now employs more than 35 people.

In total, about 165 full and part-time jobs have been created through Thought Into Action.

More than half of those ventures remain in operation.


TIA Mentor named Entrepreneur of the Year

By Mary Galvez on June 5, 2017

Melissa Coley ’79, President-elect of the Alumni Council awards Oak Atkinson ’87 the Entrepreneur of the Year award

TIA mentor extraordinaire, Oak Atkinson ’87, was selected as the Colgate alumni council’s 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year during this years eWeekend in New York City. Oak is the founder of tumbalina, the artisanal and digital card company that measures its success in smiles by “touching hearts one by one.” In 2003, the first year in business, tumbalina won several industry awards, including a “Louie”, (the Oscars of the stationery industry), and the American Package Design Award. In 2015, tumbalina sold over 17 million cards with clients like Snapfish, Walgreens and CVS .

 

While Oak is super busy running her multi-million dollar business, she is also a wife, mother and artist. Yet, she still makes time in her busy schedule to come to campus once a month to mentor TIA Incubator students. Why? To give back to Colgate and to “pay it forward,” as the saying goes. And . . . “it’s also fun.”

In addition to mentoring, Oak has taken it upon herself to hand-stencil a number of walls in the TIA incubator with inspirational and relevant quotes. This has been a laborious and time-consuming project that has added so much visually and inspirationally to our space. Oak has volunteered her time to this project, as do all of our mentors. TIA absolutely could not survive without our incredible group of alumni, parent and community mentors.

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU Oak and congratulations on this well deserved award.

 

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