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Dunne Goodwin – – Next Generation Digital Marketing Solutions

By Sheila Dunne '20 on March 21, 2019
Sheila Dunne '20
Sheila Dunne ’20

Today, everything is going digital — entertainment, retail, consumer services, banking, and even currencies. This means that businesses are also switching to digital — specifically to market their products and services online and reach a targeted, engaged audience via social media and digital advertising. A successful digital marketing strategy is central to helping businesses stay competitive.  That’s why my co-founder, Luke Goodwin and I decided to start Dunne Goodwin. Dunne Goodwin provides next-generation digital marketing solutions to drive business growth. Since founding the business 2 years ago, our team of 6 full-time employees and 4 student interns has executed digital marketing strategies for over 40 clients. The secret ingredient to our success has been the abundance of mentors and resources provided by Colgate University’s Thought Into Action (TIA) venture incubator. A great example of how impactful the TIA community has been to Dunne Goodwin is captured by our experience with the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), a global digital marketing professional learning and certification body with over 28,000 alumni members and partners in over 100 countries. 

Dunne Goodwin

Recently, a TIA mentor established a partnership between DMI and TIA, and connected us with DMI to take the Certified Digital Marketing Professional course. The course enhanced our digital marketing skills and reinforced our commitment to ongoing education as digital marketing evolves. As a result, Dunne Goodwin has been able to more effectively serve our clients thanks to the work of TIA mentors and partners like DMI. We are excited to be a part of TIA during this exciting time and contribute back to the community. 

Sheila Dunne is a junior at Colgate studying computer science and economics. Prior to founding Dunne Goodwin, Sheila worked as an Instagram influencer with over 200,000 followers. In her spare time, Sheila enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places, skiing, and sailing.


TIA 2017/18 Annual Report

By Mary Galvez on June 26, 2018

Annual Report 2017-2018


Applying liberal arts to entrepreneurship, developing leaders who take action and impact the world.

Thought Into Action, Entrepreneurship at Colgate (TIA) supports, promotes, and advances entrepreneurial activity across the Colgate community.


TIA is best known for the program that Andy Greenfield ‘74 started nine years ago, which we now call the TIA Student Incubator. In addition to the incubator, we have grown TIA to include the following components (listed in order of increasing level of commitment by student entrepreneurs):

  • Resource Library – A collection of general research and materials valuable to any TIA or alumni entrepreneur, or member of the Colgate community.
  • Entrepreneur Weekend – A celebration of all things entrepreneurial at Colgate that includes speakers, student pitches, demo day, networking opportunities and panels.
  • Entrepreneur Professional Network (EPN) – A network of alumni entrepreneurs that leverage Colgate’s entrepreneurial spirit across the entire Colgate community, and across the US. EPN includes events and workshops; introducing students and alumni to fellow Colgate community members working throughout the field.
  • Summit Series – A yearlong series of of campus-based workshops and speakers covering broadly relevant entrepreneurial topics, open to all students and the broader Colgate community.
  • Student Incubator – The signature year-long incubator for launching Colgate ventures of all shapes and sizes (for-profit/social entrepreneurship/campus enrichment) powered by a network of alumni, parent, and community mentors involved in all aspects of entrepreneurship.
  • Entrepreneurs Fund – A summer incubator for advanced ventures, providing seed funding, incubator space, and mentorship. The fund is open to students and recent alumni from the Colgate community.


TIA concluded its 9th year of the Student Incubator this April. This year so many great stories emerged from the Incubator that exemplified all aspects of the entrepreneurial journey: resiliency, adversity, success, iterating, learning, collaboration and more. Below are some highlights:

Highlights from selected 2018 TIA Ventures

  • ISO is a creative content agency that develops cinematic-quality content for both clients and their own productions. The team has participated in both the 100 Level and 200 Level. They finished this year as one of our most progressive ventures. They have a long list of impressive clients that they’ve worked with, and their average client engagement is in the neighborhood of $5,000. They will be participating in the Entrepreneurs Fund this summer and then going full-time on their venture in the fall when they move to LA. Equally exciting, they were invited to make a film this summer with Colgate alum (and Academy Award-winning producer) Jeff Sharp ‘89. ISO is a great example of the variety of ventures that TIA helps nurture and grow. (Brandon Doby ‘18 & Lauren Sanderson ‘18)
  • Lisa Heller Music is the story of a very talented singer songwriter, who after three years in TIA, is graduating and pursuing her career full-time. Through the Incubator she learned to build a business around her talent and networked to numerous key players in the music industry through the TIA and broader Colgate network. Lisa has performed in front of 5,000 person audiences, is recording her next album, and putting together a tour to debut her latest work. She is another great example of how TIA and our mentors help grow ventures of all shapes and sizes. (Lisa Heller ‘18)
  • Gipper is a service for high school and college athletic departments to help their programs stand out on social media with engaging video content. TIA is very happy to have the Gipper team back for their third year; they have already participated in the 100 level, the Entrepreneurs Fund, and the 200 level this year. They are on track this summer to be generating over $30K in annual recurring revenue, and are just scratching the surface of their sales pipeline. They’ve built a highly complimentary team of software engineers, content and video experts, marketers and more. Most impressive has been their openness to learning and willingness to pivot away from things that haven’t worked, even after sinking lots of time, resources and capital into those strategies. The result is that they currently have a client base of top tier high schools and colleges who love their product and are renewing their contracts. They are working full-time this summer on the venture. (Matt Glick ‘19, Jack Zamore ‘20, Ruchit Shrestha ‘20, Abby Waxler ‘19 & Daniel Gathogo ‘20)
  • NaSo is a clothing company that marries West African and American culture with beautiful prints and accents. The founder Uyi Omorogbe hit his stride this spring when one of our mentors pushed him to figure out how to start ‘hacking’ the product and actually going from thought to action by integrating his prints into existing garments. The bell went off in his head that he didn’t need to set up an entire manufacturing facility or develop a full line of clothes, but instead he could realize his vision immediately while on campus with existing wardrobes and a sewing machine and some trial and error. The results were really compelling – he styled a number of initial prototype garments, with which he did some market research to determine what the final product should look like. At the same time he created a website supported by beautiful video content that he created in collaboration with TIA venture ISO. This summer he is spending time in Nigeria collecting fabrics, developing partnerships and getting inspired to come back to TIA in the fall and join the 200 level. (Uyi Omorogbe ‘19 & Olajide Awelewa ‘18)
  • Campus Coat Check provides coat checking as a service for events, bars and restaurants. This year in the 200 level they really hit their stride, and developed a successful business. The team built software from scratch to power their operations and create a seamless and intuitive experience for users. They pivoted away from their direct to student service for bars downtown, and focused on a B2B strategy, finding a very receptive client in Colgate Special Events. They successfully ran the coat check for a number of Colgate events this year, generating revenues in the range of $500-1,000 per event. In addition they helped power a number of Greek organization events. We’re confident they will develop a repeatable sales process and begin franchising to other campuses by next year. They are also exploring additional services, such as car valet. Most impressive is that they have run this as a proper business since day one, with all the necessary insurance and liability, as well as with thoughtful employee training, all the while constantly listening to the needs of their customers and reiterating as needed. (Ben Sharf ‘20, Chase Headrick ‘19, Brandon Gardner ‘19, Katie Bray McGhee ‘20, & Eli Byers)
  • Dunne Marketing is a social media-marketing agency. The team is laser-focused on building a business that they can run full-time after graduation, and there isn’t a mentor in TIA that believes this won’t happen. The team has been incredibly successful in securing yearlong contracts with clients who are paying ~$1,000 / month. At any one time they are engaged with 8-10 clients, across industries including automotive, education, food and beverage, consumer technology, and more. They will spend next year building out their pipeline while narrowing their customer focus, and at the same time increasing the product offering and growing the team. They are participating in the Entrepreneurs Fund this summer as well. (Sheila Dunne ‘20 & Luke Goodwin)
  • Halligan is a software tool that helps with the equipment and truck check process for fire departments and EMTs to ensure safety. The team has a great product and probably the most traction of any recent TIA venture, generating in excess of $100K+ in annual recurring revenue with a client base of over 150 departments. They participated in the eFund last year. Their biggest challenge has been the partnership, as two of the founders are older alums, and the other is a student, Adam, who carried the torch in the TIA Incubator. With support and mentorship from his TIA mentors, Adam decided this spring to part ways with the team, but not before negotiating a stock agreement as well as leveraging the entire experience to get a dream job as a software engineer. The amount of experience and learning he accumulated during his time in TIA is astounding, from product development, partnership disputes, building a sales pipeline, closing contracts, providing customer support and so much more. (Adam Pratt ‘18)
  • Natural Beauty manufactures an all-natural fiber, organic, toxic-free breast prosthesis. The venture was founded by Jill Nelson, a Hamilton community member, and is great example of how TIA and the mentors are supporting local entrepreneurs in addition to students. Jill was awarded a $35K grant from the Partnership for Community Development (PCD) / NY State for her venture. She has done extensive market testing, has purchased the necessary equipment for initial inventory, and is in the process of setting up her e-commerce as well as negotiating wholesale accounts. She will be back in the fall for the 200 level and has a very innovative product that will be making a difference in the lives of women who are breast cancer survivors. (Jill Nelson)

Incubator Stats
The Incubator is separated into two groups. The 100 level is composed of first-time teams that are embarking on their first experience with entrepreneurship (much like learning a new sport). The 200 level is composed of teams that have completed the 100 level and return to continue growing their venture for a second (and in some cases third) year.

This was our third year running a 200 level program for ventures that have been in TIA for more than one year. While the 100 level is focused on the beginning entrepreneur and developing entrepreneurial competencies, the 200 level is focused more on the actual venture and includes more skill-based topics such as marketing, financial record keeping, board creation, growing sales, etc. With each successive year, we are seeing that the 200 level ventures are the ones that get the most traction and have the greatest potential to turn into viable, sustainable businesses and nonprofits.

Following is a high-level breakdown of students and ventures that participated for 2017/18.


Mentor Engagement
We have 147 active alumni, parent, and community mentors. A total of 43 mentors came to campus for at least one TIA session this past year. We averaged 22 mentors for each of our Saturday workshops. Of the total mentors this year, 9 are new. This year, mentors donated 2,880 hours to TIA. Over the past nine years, our mentors have given over 23,000 hours of their time to our students.

Our mentor advisory board consists of 10 lead mentors who have been with TIA for at least five years and make a commitment to come to at least seven of our eight monthly sessions. The group advises on curriculum, fundraising, marketing, etc. In addition, these 10 mentors provide 1-on-1 mentorship to the 200 level student entrepreneurs as well as to the 100 level groups in the afternoon breakout sessions. Lead mentors provide continuity to the ventures (so that students don’t feel that they are constantly bringing new mentors up-to-speed), while also sharing best practices with our newer alumni/community mentors.

Seed Grants
The purpose of the Seed Grant Program is to provide funding for eligible ventures in the Student Incubator to accelerate their progress and validate with real customers and stakeholders. Students may apply for up to $1,000 to use towards advancing their ventures. A detailed policy and application process is in place and can be found on the TIA website. This program is funded through the TIA gift fund.

This year we had 12 teams apply for a seed grant, with nine receiving funding for a total of $6,496. These include:

  • The Viewing Room – awarded $200 for for rental of a space to screen a movie.
  • Xpedite – awarded $250 for survey expenses.
  • Dunne Marketing – awarded $1,000 for market validation purposes.
  • UCan – awarded $1,000 (in two installments) for design and purchase of recycling containers and payment for bottle pickup.
  • Strata Printing – awarded $1,000 (in three installments) to purchase supplies to make a printer.
  • Alz You Need – awarded $1,000 for technical needs (developer fees).
  • Campus Coat Check – awarded $742 for supplies (coat racks, hangers, etc.)
  • NaSo – awarded $1,000 (in two installments) for purchase of shirts, labor, website and photo shoot.
  • Eva & Aiden – awarded $304 to hire an illustrator to have pages of book ready for eWeekend.


This year we partnered with the Partnership for Community Development (PCD) for programming content. Together we presented four workshops and two speakers. Workshops include:

  • Writing for Social Media – Matt Hames, Communications Strategist, Colgate University
  • Selling on Etsy – Sarah Dustin, owner of the Adirondack Ink
  • Startup Experience – a two-day, design and entrepreneurship bootcamp followed by a three day immersion trip to NYC to visit startups including Cobani, Fair Harbor, Chicory, Swig, and Hinge
  • IRS!? TAXES!? INSURANCE!? PAYROLL!?” The Fundamentals of Starting a Business – the Small Business Development Center

We hosted 2 speakers:

  • Brand Yourself – Patrick Ambron, CEO and Co-founder of BrandYourself.com
  • Student-Athletes and Startups: How My Time as a Colgate Student Athlete Helped Me From Dorm Room Dream to Shark Tank Reality – Jimmy DeCicco ‘15, CEO Sunniva Super Coffee (in partnership with the Department of Athletics)


The Entrepreneurs Fund was established in 2013 to grow and advance the ventures of Colgate student and alumni entrepreneurs who are solving problems and demonstrating an ability to execute.

This year we had 17 total applications, which were narrowed down to a field of nine for second round interviews, with a total of five teams chosen to each win a $13,000 award.

eFund judges included Alvin Glymph ’94, Tim O’Neill ‘78, Janice Ryan ’91, Amy Jurkowitz ‘85 and Steve Rock ‘85.

The five awardees were:

Deco Slides is an online retailer and manufacturer of unique slide sandals with swappable straps. (Chase Jackson ’13, Sam Jackson)


Dunne Marketing provides social media management and social media marketing solutions for businesses to increase brand awareness and drive sales, saving both time and money. (Sheila Dunne ’20, Luke Goodwin, Tyler Jones)


ISO Film is a creative content house that specializes in full service film and video production. ISO walks the line between art and commerce by bringing a high level of artistry to business projects, which distinguishes our product and makes our customers stand out in the corporate world. (Brandon Doby ’18, Lauren Sanderson ’18)


Profillic is an AI-powered knowledge discovery platform for data science R&D that connects scientists with research, industry developments, peer reviews, projects, and more relevant to their work and interests. (Gaurav Ragtah ’13, Himanshu Ragtah)



YourYard provides on-demand access to fun lawn and beach games like spike, kadima, and wiffle ball, through a network of phone-activated lockers. (Dean Koman ’17, Nathan Weinrauch, Zach Flyer)


eWeekend was held April 7 this year on campus in the Hall of Presidents. The weekend followed an abbreviated format to previous years, as we combined all of the programming into only the Saturday event, without the Friday night feature. Approximately 250 people attended this event.

Twenty-three TIA teams presented at booths in the Hall of Presidents during the “DemoDay” portion of the event, where attendees were able to mingle and spend time at each booth while enjoying a buffet lunch. In addition, four teams were featured to pitch their ventures to the audience:

Strata Printing


Natural Beauty

The Viewing Room

In the afternoon a panel discussion kicked off with panelists: Bob Gold ’80, CEO and president of Ridgewood Capital; Jon Klein, co-founder of TAPP Media and former president at CNN/US; Jeffrey Sharp ’89, academy award winning filmmaker and president/CEO of Sharp Independent Pictures; and Katie Finnegan ’05, principal and founder at Store No. 8 and vice president at Incubation Walmart. Finnegan was also awarded the Alumni Council’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Following the panel, we chose four of our best TIA teams from this year to go on stage and pitch the panel for the “SharkTank” portion of the event. The four teams competed for a total purse of $7,000, which the “sharks” broke down into 1st, 2nd, and two 3rd place awards that were subsidized by the panelists (an additional $2000). The awards were paid out of the TIA gift fund. The teams that pitched were:

  1. ISO Film – a creative content house that specializes in film and video production founded by Lauren Sanderson ’18 and Brandon Doby ’18, earned $1,000 and was given a chance to make a film with Academy Award-winning producer Sharp.
  2. Loophole – a rubber ring phone grip and kickstand — and its founder Patrick Crowe ’18 earned $1,000; also, Gold and Finnegan placed orders for more than 2,000 units of branded products.
  3. Gipper – an automated athletics communications service for high schools and colleges, earned $3,000, and Finnegan offered San Francisco office space to its founders Matthew Glick ’19, Jack Zamore ’20, Ruchit Shrestha ’20, and Abby Waxler ’19.
  4. UCan – a social recycling system for colleges and universities that channels generated funds toward local anti-poverty organizations, earned $4,000 to expand its operations. Finnegan offered to connect UCan’s founder Christina Weiler ’21 with Walmart’s operations team to expand the project in Walmart retail stores.


This past year TIA has strengthened its partnership with the Partnership for Community Development (PCD) in order to reach more local entrepreneurs / business owners. As noted above, we’ve worked with the PCD on programming, putting together a variety of workshops and speakers that addressed the needs of our students as well as local entrepreneurs.

We are currently collaborating on opening up the incubator as a co-working space for local entrepreneurs. We will be renting space for $30 / month that includes: work space, internet, printing, a conference room for meetings, a private phone booth for phone calls, and a kitchenette stocked with essentials. We will be opening up and marketing the space beginning July 1.

This year we had 8 community members and 1 alumnus who participated in the TIA Incubator, with three of those participating at the 200 level. Seven finished the year and presented at eWeekend; one dropped out due to family commitments in the spring semester. Over the past three years, we have had 16 community members go through the Incubator. Of those, 2 (Good Nature Brewing, Carrie Blackmore ‘08 and Flour & Salt, Britty Buonocore ‘12) also participated in the Entrepreneurs Fund, each receiving $15,000 grants to go towards growing their local business.


The Campus Venture Initiative was created in partnership with the Dean of the College and the Office of Finance and Administration to foster an environment on campus that enables students to realize their entrepreneurial pursuits. We work to ensure that school policies and processes reflect our dedication to entrepreneurship at Colgate and the desire to see our students succeed. Students do not have to be in TIA to apply to and be approved by the CVI. We did not have any applications to the initiative this year.


2017/18 TIA PRESS


Lauren Sanderson ’18 wins 1819 Award

By Dan DeVries on May 10, 2018

Lauren Sanderson ’18 accepts the 1819 Award from President Brian W. Casey. Photo by Mark DiOrio.

Lauren Sanderson ’18 is an entrepreneur, student-athlete, academic all-star, and a soon-to-be published poet who now adds Colgate University’s most prestigious student recognition, the 1819 Award, to her impressive résumé of accomplishments.

The 1819 Award is given annually to one graduating student whose character, scholarship, sportsmanship, and service to others best exemplify the university’s spirit and the value of a liberal arts education.

“Lauren has distinguished herself as a gifted poet who has won a national contest to have her first book of poems published,” wrote nominator Peter Balakian, professor of English and winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. “Lauren was also the captain of the women’s volleyball team and an athlete of high distinction in her four years here. She remains an unusual student and one with real leadership qualities and contributes greatly to the intellectual life of the student body.”

Hailing from London, Ontario, Sanderson is an English major with an emphasis on creative writing. She was the 2017 winner of the Lasher Prize for outstanding talent and has received the Dean’s Award every semester of her Colgate career. On the volleyball court, she was ranked first in setting by the Patriot League and 13th nationally for assists.

While attending department-sponsored workshops, Sanderson organized her own writing roundtables, encouraging and teaching friends and classmates to express themselves through writing. She is a member of the board of organizers for Lounge, an organization that hosts open-mic nights off campus. A peer tutor on campus, Sanderson also volunteers her time in Sherburne, N.Y. to mentor middle school students.

Outside of the classroom and off the court, Sanderson is an active member of the Thought Into Action Entrepreneurship Incubator, where she and Brandon Doby ’18 earned $1,000 in funding during Entrepreneur Weekend for their film-production company, ISO, and was named one of this year’s $13,000 Entrepreneur Fund recipients.

“Every person has a tale to tell, but a rare few hone their storytelling skills across multiple media, across multiple topics; some difficult, others beautiful.” said President Brian W. Casey during the university’s Awards Convocation on May 4. “Our 1819 Award winner has spent the last four years at Colgate working with words, sharing them rather than holding them close. Through her art, she focuses on issues of gender inequality and violence. She has acted on the belief that, if we put our joy and pain on paper, readers will recognize commonalities in the human experience, celebrate differences, and overcome divisiveness.”

Sanderson’s poetry manuscript is slated to be published by Write Bloody Press in March 2019, and she will be embarking on a 20-stop promotional tour after graduation. She plans to apply to graduate school to earn an MFA in creative writing.



2018 Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund Winners

By Mary Galvez on May 1, 2018

2018 eFund winners, left to right: Luke Goodwin, Sheila Dunne ’20, Dean Koman ’17, Chase Jackson ’13, Lauren Sanderson ’18, Brandon Doby ’18 and Wills Hapworth ’07, Executive Director of TIA


Welcome to the sixth year of Colgate’s Entrepreneurs Fund! The fund was created in 2013 in recognition of the large number of student and alumni entrepreneurs throughout the Colgate community who are solving problems and demonstrating an ability to execute. Open to for-profit and non-profit ventures with at least one Colgate member on the founding team, the fund offers prizewinners the opportunity to grow their ventures with seed capital; incubator space for the summer in Hamilton; and intellectual resources from within the Colgate community.

The fund was established in 2013, and maintained with lead gifts from Dan and Linda Rosensweig P’15, ’17, Noah Wintroub ’98 and Carey Jennings, and Michael ’86 and Julie Ellenbogen.

Congratulations to the five teams chosen as this years winners of the fund:


Deco SlidesDeco Slides is an online retailer and manufacturer of unique slide sandals with swappable straps. Chase Jackson ’13, Sam Jackson


Dunne Marketing provides social media management and social media marketing solutions for businesses to increase brand awareness and drive sales, saving both time and money. Sheila Dunne ’20, Luke Goodwin


ISO Film is a creative content house that specializes in full service film and video production. ISO walks the line between art and commerce by bringing a high level of artistry to business projects, which distinguishes our product and makes our customers stand out in the corporate world. Brandon Doby ’18, Lauren Sanderson ’18


Profillic is an AI-powered knowledge discovery platform for data science R&D that connects scientists with research, industry developments, peer reviews, projects, and more relevant to their work and interests. Gaurav Ragtah ’13, Himanshu Ragtah



YourYard provides on-demand access to fun lawn and beach games like spike, kadima, and wiffle ball, through a network of phone-activated lockers.  Dean Koman ’17, Nathan WeinrauchZach Flyer


Read more about the past five years of the Entrepreneurs Fund in action and the impressive impact it has had since its inception.




The art of entrepreneurship: A day in the life of Brandon Doby ’18 and Lauren Sanderson ’18

By Emily Daniel '18 on April 30, 2018

Photo by Andrew Daddio

For Brandon Doby ’18 and Lauren Sanderson ’18, entrepreneurship exists at the intersection of business acumen and creative risk. These two seniors are both artists and business owners: They created ISO Film, a production company, as a Thought Into Action (TIA) venture in 2016, and have been making experimental films together ever since.

“To sustain yourself as an artist and to give yourself the opportunities to create exactly what you want to create, you need to master the business side, too,” said Doby, a studio arts major from Chicago.

Doby and Sanderson’s business venture took center stage during Colgate’s annual Entrepreneur Weekend April 7. The day was packed with pitching and networking, and it contained a few surprises for the pair.

Brandon Doby ’18 gives Jeff Sharp ’89 (left) a tour of Case-Geyer Library’s studio space

10:00 a.m.

While other student entrepreneurs arrived at the Hall of Presidents to set up their TIA booths, Sanderson and Doby had an impromptu breakfast meeting with Jeffrey Sharp ’89. A panelist during the event’s Shark Tank­­–style pitch competition, Sharp is a successful filmmaker who is known for Boys Don’t Cry and Proof.

The pair gave Sharp a tour of the state-of-the-art audio and video studios they use on the first floor of Case-Geyer Library. Before the studios were built, aspiring musicians and filmmakers like Sharp had to get creative with what Colgate had to offer.

“When we wanted to record music or sound for our movies, we would use the rehearsal spaces in Dana [Arts Center], or in the Chapel basement,” remembered Sharp. “When I think about why Colgate is such a great place for the arts, it’s because there are little spaces like that, available to anyone who’s looking for them.”

11:30 a.m.

Doby and Sanderson put the finishing touches on their ISO Film booth. The pair had clips of their previous projects — including music videos and experimental shorts — rolling on a TV screen and copies of screenplays on the table for visitors to look through.

ISO Film has two branches: ISO Works and ISO Labs. Through ISO Works, Sanderson and Doby take on commissioned projects like event coverage and music videos. Those paid projects help fund ISO Labs, which is the more experimental side of the business; through ISO Labs, the pair have directed several short films and recently finished a documentary.

1:30 p.m.

For this partnership, the main event was the Shark Tank-style competition. Doby and Sanderson gave a concise and compelling pitch to the panel of four “sharks” under a strict time limit — an ominous gong sound-effect rang through the Hall of Presidents when were up.

2:00 p.m.

The panel of “sharks” deliberated and awarded $1,000 to ISO. Sharp, however, had his own gift to give the ISO team: The filmmaker announced he would commission ISO to work on a small project for his production company.

Doby and Sanderson also won a $13,000 grant through the Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund. The program awards student-entrepreneurs with a seed grant, incubator space for the summer in Hamilton, and mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.

“We’re going to take this full speed ahead,” said Sanderson, an English major. “We’re putting everything we have into the film production company, and hopefully the freelance projects coming in will be enough to sustain us, on top of our funding for our next project.”

Added Doby: “Where we’re at is kind of art commerce. And when we approach commerce, it still has our artistic imprint on it. It still has the poetry in it.”

Doby and Sanderson plan to move to Los Angeles together to grow their company, which has recently been incorporated in California. Also, Sanderson has another creative outlet — her book of poems, published through Write Bloody Publishing, comes out next March, which will be followed by a 20-stop book tour.

“I love that feeling of no net. No matter how big the checks get, there’s a no net sense of individual entrepreneurship that I think drives a lot of great art, because there’s a sense of survival in it,” Doby said.


Halligan Works to Improve the Lives of First Responders

By Adam Pratt '18 on January 24, 2018

While a student at Colgate, Alex Montgomery ‘11 worked as a volunteer firefighter with the Hamilton FD and during the summers worked as a Wildland Firefighter in Tucson, AZ. In both capacities, Alex became very familiar with the typical daily tasks of a firefighter. One particularly painstaking process involved checking all of the apparatus and equipment using pen and paper for reporting. The process was old-fashioned and time-consuming and given how annoying it was, inevitably resulting in either: not happening in the first place, getting oil on the report, forgetting to submit the report to an administrator on duty . . . or some other variation of things falling through the cracks – putting the safety of the firefighters at risk.

After Colgate, Alex began a career as a software engineer developing enterprise and SaaS software. Leveraging the skills and knowledge he developed in these roles, he wanted to revisit that nagging problem of the firefighter’s ‘truck check’ and see if he could develop a software solution for the ‘first response’ industry. He began talking to a few fire departments, and to his surprise, the problem of outdated reporting systems still existed, and actually went much deeper. It didn’t just affect the firefighters themselves, but also affected the administrative systems as a whole. At a base level, department administrators lacked easy access to actionable data about the status of their fleet and equipment.

Determined to finally do something about the problem, Alex recruited two trusted Colgate partners, Alex Krill ‘11 and Adam Pratt ‘18, and the Halligan team was born. They immediately got to work on rolling out the initial product while going through the TIA incubator. Then, using resources from the Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund grant, they launched the initial product in beta in Q3 of 2016.

During this time, the Halligan team constantly iterated on their go-to-market strategy and gained incredible insight from TIA mentors on how to find product-market fit. In January of 2017, Halligan made its first sale and hasn’t looked back. With nearly 170 paying departments, large strategic partners in the space, and a best in class software solution, what started as an annoyance about the ‘truck check’ process has turned into the dominant fleet and equipment management platform for first responders.

With the continued support of TIA, Halligan continues to improve the lives of first responders around the country by making their work easier, safer and more effective.

2017 Highlights
• 165 paying customers
• $160,000 booked of Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)
• Strategic partnership with Emergency Reporting
• Negotiating with purchasing department for first large Metro customer

2018 Plan
• Deepen Emergency Reporting Partnership
• Investment in product to continue to push into EMS space
• Explore product fit for police departments
• Explore strategic partnership with another big player in the space
• Grow bookings to $550k ARR
• Raise a round of capital to capitalize on this opportunity and aggressively grow the business.

Thank you to everyone that’s supported, advised, critiqued, connected and more…we wouldn’t be where we are without you!!


Trial in Shark Tank spurs alumnus to forge ahead

By Dan DeVries on October 2, 2017

Students gather to watch Ryan Diew ’17 on Shark Tank, October 1. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Much has happened since Ryan Diew ’17 stepped in front of cameras in early June to pitch his travel app, Trippie, on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Investors on the season nine premiere that aired October 1 pulled no punches in their criticism of the app, but Diew says he took their advice to heart, and he has been hard at work making Trippie the best airport navigation tool available on the Apple Store.

“I really have taken heed of a lot of their advice,” said Diew. “I think that I let my emotions get the best of me toward the end. I am really passionate about this, and I broke down, and that’s something I’ve learned from. I’ll never do that again.”

Trippie has expanded from four to 16 airports since the Shark Tank episode was filmed in June, and it now covers locations that account for 82 percent of all U.S. domestic air travel.

Ryan Diew ’17 (Photo by Mark DiOrio)

Despite being chewed to pieces by the “sharks,” Diew said that in the hours after the episode aired, Trippie was downloaded nearly 12,000 times before the web server he rented to keep up with demand crashed from the traffic. Even with technical problems, Trippie ranked 21st in travel on the App store on Monday, Oct. 2, and Diew expects his Android version to launch later this week.

“This was the chance of a lifetime, and I don’t regret any of it. The progress that we’ve made since my pitch has been amazing,” Diew said. “We’ve expanded and added functionality, making the app better. I’ll just continue to keep pushing.”

Colgate Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Career Initiatives Michael Sciola said he admired Diew’s willingness to put himself in front of an audience of millions in pursuit of his entrepreneurial dream.

“At Colgate, we teach our students that it is impossible to win a game if you are afraid to take a shot,” Sciola said. “I admire that Ryan took the chance to move his business forward and know that he will use this as a learning experience. I cannot wait to see what happens next!”

Thought Into Action Alumni Executive Director Wills Hapworth ’07 said he’s been impressed with Diew’s grit and resilience. “His response to Shark Tank and Mark Cuban’s tough questions was to double down on product development and growth so he would be prepared for the bump he expected after the episode’s airing. He was laser focused over the past few months. That is the heart of a true entrepreneur. I know these are traits that have served him well in the classroom and on the basketball court, and now hopefully in business as well. It will be one of the marks of his life going forward. We are proud of Ryan.”


Alumnus Ryan Diew ’17 dives into Shark Tank

By Dan DeVries on September 25, 2017

Ryan Diew ’17

A fledgling idea, born during an airport layover and cultivated with the help of Colgate’s Thought Into Action Entrepreneurship Incubator, has landed a recent alumnus on the two-hour season premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank, this Sunday, October 1, at 8 p.m.

While a press embargo restricts what exactly happened when Ryan Diew ’17 plunged into the tank to ask for funding from America’s most beloved — and sometimes reviled — venture capitalists, he promises the appearance is one to remember.

“I think they liked the idea, they liked my hustle, and they liked my grit,” said Diew, who graduated with a degree in computer science and played Division I basketball while at Colgate. Diew said he expects to appear during the show’s second hour.

Diew came up with his business, a phone app called Trippie, when he was a sophomore traveling from Colgate to his home in Oakland, Calif. During a long layover, he wanted to grab some food, but he also didn’t want to lug all of his carry-on baggage through the airport. So, he let a stranger watch his bags. He also didn’t want his quest for food to result in a missed flight.

Ryan Diew on the court

He thought there had to be a better way. So, he invented one.

“Trippie is essentially an airport mapping service that allows travelers to explore a detailed interactive map of the airport to immediately get the lay of the land,” Diew explained. “It displays menus, reviews, hours, and even calculates how long it takes to get to your favorite food spot or restaurant so you don’t miss your flight.”

Trippie wasn’t always about helping travelers quickly locate food or stores in airports. When he first brought his idea to the TIA incubator, Diew was hoping to develop an airport food delivery app.

“If I really wanted this idea to be a thing, TIA was the place to go,” said Diew, but the experienced alumni entrepreneurs in the group quickly poked holes in his plan. “They pushed back immediately. When you’re in college and you have no experience, how are you going to hire the employees in the airport? How are you going to do this, do that? There’s was so much red tape, but I didn’t want to give up.”

Diew taught himself how to code Swift, one of the most popular app development languages, and he has worked to refine the product ever since. He also worked with former Colgate student Samantha Braver, and the two pitched Trippie at the 2016 TIA Entrepreneur Weekend, where they took away more than $22,000 in funding. Braver later left Trippie for a job at Apple.

In 2017, Trippie was selected as a TIA Entrepreneurs Fund recipient, which gave Diew $15,000 toward his venture and workspace in the downtown Hamilton incubator to work full time on his product. He was contacted for the Shark Tank opportunity after his business appeared in an Inc.com Coolest College Startup competition.

“Above all else, Ryan is insanely passionate about Trippie, and all of his mentors have seen this and admire this about him. In his view, the world will cease to exist without the app, and that’s exactly the mentality that every entrepreneur needs to have,” said TIA Alumni Executive Director Wills Hapworth ’07. “As we say in TIA, passion is the fuel for action, and that’s exactly what has kept Ryan coming back to the challenge of Trippie, despite setbacks and pivots. We are very confident he will figure out how to thread the needle and make Trippie a huge success that helps millions of people!”


Entrepreneurs Fund in Action

By Wills Hapworth on July 31, 2017

eFund 2017 (l-r) Rob Carroll ’15, Pat Crowe ’18, Grace O’Shea ’11, Matthew Glick ’19, Jack Zamore ’20, Cody Semrau ’14, Nick Freud ’15, Mary Galvez & Wills Hapworth

Hello Colgate Entrepreneurship Community!

We are excited to share that we just wrapped up another high-energy summer of the Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund (eFund); we are also sad to see the teams go! Here are the ventures that made up the 5th eFund cohort and with whom we had the fortune of working over the last six weeks.

The teams worked 24/7 on their ventures at the TIA Incubator in Hamilton and during that time we witnessed numerous accomplishments, including: celebrating their first sales; making hard and critical decisions about their product based on customer feedback; aggressively hunting down leads from the Colgate/TIA network; making their first hires; learning the do’s and don’ts of effective selling; sharing best practices on business operations with one and other; and more. Here is a bit more on what transpired while the teams were in Hamilton:

5th Year of the Entrepreneurs Fund by the Numbers

  • 5 new teams participated this summer from June 5th – July 14th
  • $65K in grants awarded to the ventures, many putting these funds to work on digital marketing, product development, hiring, legal and more
  • 40+ mentors engaged more than 100 times
  • Mentors (alums, parents, faculty, staff and community members) collectively gave over 450 hours of their time mentoring both in person and remotely

We heard first-hand how much the teams benefitted from the Colgate community and the hours of mentoring they received, and how immensely grateful they are for the experience. The teams now continue on in their journeys to build profitable and high growth businesses, buoyed by TIA and the larger Colgate entrepreneurship community, which we repeatedly say is a membership for life. We are extremely proud of all that they accomplished this summer, and thrilled to see them join the eFund legacy, which has had an impressive impact since its inception. Here is a little more on what the eFund has accomplished over the past 5 years:

Entrepreneurs Fund Inception to Date

  • 27 teams awarded a seed grant to date
  • ~7 highly qualified Colgate alumni/parent entrepreneurs have screened the applications every year
  • $375K of seed capital deployed through generous gifts from alums and parents, with funds supporting product development, digital marketing, key hires, legal, and other growth functions
  • $11.9MM+ of investment capital subsequently raised by eFund teams
  • 17 ventures still currently operating; batting well over .500 which is great for startup odds
  • ~100 full-time jobs created and still filled by eFund ventures, and many more part-time positions created
  • 2,200+ hours of time donated by mentors, on average about 40+ mentors engaging more than 100 times every summer

Thank you to all the mentors that accelerated these ventures, to Colgate for fostering such a collaborative environment, to the entrepreneurs for their tireless work and making us all look good, and to the TIA team that keeps things running smoothly. Let’s keep the energy high and continue turning thoughts into action!



Taking the leap to full-time entrepreneur by Cody Semrau

By Contributing Writer on July 27, 2017

Cody Semrau ’14

When I graduated from Colgate back in 2014, I thought that I was leaving the hills of Hamilton far behind me. But after spending a few years working a corporate job in D.C., I found myself feeling unfulfilled. I wanted to do something – to create something – that I was really passionate about. What started as a part time hobby has now become the center of my world, and led me back to a familiar place.

Thanks to Colgate’s TIA Entrepreneurs Fund, I was able to make the jump into entrepreneurship full-time. After quitting my day job in May, I moved to Hamilton and have spent the summer working on my venture, BetterMynd, alongside four other teams of energetic and determined Colgate entrepreneurs.

BetterMynd is an online mental health and teletherapy platform designed exclusively for college and university campuses. We bring together a wide network of licensed mental health therapists and counselors and allow students to search from and have teletherapy sessions with their counselor of choice—all from the comfort and privacy of their laptops or smartphones.

When I was a senior at Colgate, I began experiencing my own mental health issues, and I was fortunate enough to get help from Colgate’s on-campus resources. However, the experience was an uncomfortable one. I had to carefully sneak into that building everyone knew as the Counseling Center. Then I had to sit in the lobby across from other classmates that were experiencing their own mental health issues. It was an awkward experience, but one I was willing to go through in order to get the help I needed. But many college students are not, and it is the reason why over half of students with mental health issues don’t get any help at all.

At the same time, colleges across the country are experiencing a significant spike in the number of students seeking mental health counseling, with the latest studies showing a 50% year-over-year increase in demand. Although this is a great sign that more students are seeking help, it’s not so great if colleges don’t have the resources to keep pace. One out of three colleges has a waiting list for students seeking counseling and most schools cap the number of sessions a student can have at six. Still, it often takes up to two weeks for a student to get an appointment.

By bringing more counseling resources to college students, and making these resources more accessible through our online platform, BetterMynd is empowering struggling college students to get the help that they need.

As part of the Entrepreneurs Fund, BetterMynd has had the added benefit of working closely with Colgate’s Counseling Center staff and other administrators. We will launch our first pilot program with Colgate this fall semester, with the hopes of expanding to other campuses later this year.

The Entrepreneurs Fund has allowed me to take BetterMynd to the next level. The program has not only allowed me to dive into entrepreneurship full time, but it has also given me the opportunity to tap into the expertise of dozens of Colgate alums on everything from marketing and branding to finance and law. As a young entrepreneur navigating the complex and challenging startup world, this mentorship has been invaluable. Although there are too many mentors to list here, I am sincerely grateful for all of your time and advice.

Lastly, I would like to give a special thanks to Wills Hapworth and Mary Galvez for all of your hard work and support in making this summer and The Entrepreneurs Fund such an incredible experience.

Cody Semrau
Founder & CEO, BetterMynd