Home - Distinctly Colgate - Entrepreneurship - Entrepreneurship News
Entrepreneurship News

Latest Posts

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!

 

READ OUR ARCHIVES


2017 Entrepreneurs Fund winners at work in TIA Incubator

By Erin Burnett '19 on July 18, 2017

Founder Grace O’Shea ’11 (second from right) and her colleagues from room2learn, a company that provides custom-design solutions for school communities. She developed the idea for the company when she was working as an 8th grade science teacher and realized the need for more flexible classroom space.

 

If Grace O’Shea ’11 could describe her perfect work environment, there’s a good chance it would look something like Colgate’s Thought Into Action Incubator located in the heart of downtown Hamilton. After all, its spacious layout, flexible seating options, and co-working environment are exactly what her spatial design company, room2learn, creates for its clients.

Luckily enough, O’Shea spent the beginning of her summer in the incubator working to grow her company as one of the 2017 Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund winners. She belongs to one of five teams that each received a $12,000 grant, mentoring, and use of the incubator space for the summer.

The other winners included Patrick Crowe ’18, founder of Loophole; Rob Carroll ’15 and Nick Freud ’15, co-founders of CampusReel; Matthew Glick ’19 and Jack Zamore ’20, co-founders of Gipper; and Cody Semrau ’14, founder of BetterMynd. The fund was established in 2013 with a lead gift from Dan and Linda Rosensweig P’15, ’17 to support the business ventures of action-oriented start-ups that have at least one Colgate member on their founding team.

Although O’Shea and her team are still determining how they will allocate their funding, she says that the intellectual guidance they’ve received is priceless.

“Colgate has an alumni network like no other,” O’Shea said. “All the human capital that Colgate has to offer and the way that people lend their ears and advice to the TIA community — I think that’s pretty amazing.”

Successful entrepreneurism draws heavily on ways of thinking that are integral to a liberal arts education, explained Meg Blume-Kohout, visiting assistant professor of economics and TIA faculty mentor. “The TIA student-entrepreneurs throw their hearts, time, and effort into creating something new, and for many of them, their venture is an expression of their own identity and social consciousness.”

As for O’Shea’s secret to success? “Figure out if you have something valuable to offer,” she advised hopeful entrepreneurs. “Talk to people about it. Put a prototype in the hands of someone else. Don’t be afraid to take the first steps toward putting your thought into action.”

READ OUR ARCHIVES


Congratulations to Our 2017 TIA Graduates!

By Mary Galvez on May 23, 2017

Thirteen Thought Into Action students graduated in Colgate’s 196th commencement ceremonies May 21st. We couldn’t be prouder of each one of them and wish them the best of luck as they enter the next phase of their lives.

Adam Buys

Adam Buys
Sapling / WeRun App

Abeneazer Chafamo
Hyve

Blaise Desnoes
Earthprint Organics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trippie

Ryan Diew
Trippie

Raffi Khatchadourian
Indify/Waffle Cookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazmyn McKoy
Heart of Tabitha

Daniel Mosko
PetFed / Seela

Caroline Nichols
D’Eat It

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah S. O’Malley
UNRAVEL

Keane Sanders
Seela

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orion Schelz
Colgate Dining Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good luck to our graduating seniors! We’ll miss you and hope you’ll pay it forward by mentoring future classes of the TIA Student Incubator!

READ OUR ARCHIVES


Colgate hosts sixth annual Entrepreneur Weekend

By mhames on May 17, 2017

Colgate University, Thought Into Action (TIA), and the Entrepreneur Professional Network hosted the sixth annual Entrepreneur Weekend on April 29, bringing alumni, parents, students, and friends together for the first time in New York City.

The festivities included a panel conversation moderated by Forbes magazine tech editor Steven Bertoni ’02. The panel included: Samantha Radocchia ’11, co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Chronicled; Cliff Sirlin ’89, co-founder of the Domino Media Group and now managing director at LaunchCapital LLC; and Ram Parimi ’05, co-founder and vice president of sales, Social Tables. (Read more . . . )


2017 Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund Winners

By Mary Galvez on May 17, 2017

The Entrepreneurs 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 Efund was created in 2013 and initially funded by Dan and Linda Rosensweig  P’15, ’17.

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

 

BetterMynd is improving the mental health of America’s 21 million college students. BetterMynd gives students access to a network of certified mental health counselors and allows them to engage in teletherapy sessions. Cody Semrau ’14

 

CampusReel democratizes the college campus visit. We mitigate financial, temporal and logistical restraints that prevent prospective students from visiting campuses through a platform rich with video content from colleges across the country. Rob Carroll ’15 and Nick Freud ’15.

 

Gipper is a sports highlight app and service that harnesses a love for athletics to improve engagement and further advancement at high schools and colleges. Matthew Glick ’19 and Jack Zamore ’20

 

Loophole makes a rubber ring phone accessory that prevents you from dropping your phone while also improving how you use your phone. Patrick Crowe ’18 and Steven Stillwell (Towson University)

 

room2learn is a social platform and design consultancy that provides custom and affordable design solutions for K-12 schools shifting towards 21st century learning. Grace O’Shea ’11, Fernando Trujano, and Jane Zhang.

 

 

PAST eFUND WINNERS

READ OUR ARCHIVES


Inc. Magazine names two TIA ventures among Coolest College Startups

By mwalden on April 25, 2017


Last month, while the sports world was reveling in March Madness, entrepreneurs were tuning in to Inc. magazine’s Coolest College Startup competition to see which of 16 ventures would win the 2017 title.

This year, Colgate was the only university represented twice on the brackets — and both ventures made it to the third round of the competition, thanks to votes from the public: Trippie, the airport-guidebook app launched by Ryan Diew ’17 and Samantha Braver, and swimwear company Fair Harbor, founded by Jake ’16 and Caroline ’19 Danehy.

“We were incredibly thrilled and humbled to be chosen as one of the 16 Coolest College Startups,” Caroline Danehy said. “We definitely wouldn’t be in the position that we are in today if it weren’t for the support of Colgate’s Thought Into Action incubator and community at large.”

The Thought into Action Incubator pairs alumni and parent mentors with student entrepreneurs, providing the guidance and encouragement that undergraduates need to identify and overcome problems through new business start-ups. Fair Harbor and Trippie have also earned venture funding during the university’s Entrepreneur Weekend Shark Tank pitch competitions. (Read more . . .)

 

READ OUR ARCHIVES


Fifth Annual Entrepreneur Weekend

By Mary Galvez on April 20, 2016
Thought Into Action students gather on stage at Colgate’s fifth Entrepreneur Weekend celebration. (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

Thought Into Action students gather on stage at Colgate’s fifth Entrepreneur Weekend celebration. (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

Colgate and Thought Into Action hosted the fifth annual Entrepreneur Weekend, April 8–9, celebrating the relentless determination that goes into successful ventures and connecting students with veteran business builders.

The weekend kicked off with a keynote conversation on Friday night. Moderated by Forbes magazine tech editor Steven Bertoni ’02, the panel included Tyler Haney, CEO of Outdoor Voices; Payal Kadakia, CEO and co-founder of ClassPass; Jon McNeill, president of global sales and service at Tesla Motors; Clare MacGoey, CFO of Giphy; and David Fialkow ’81, managing director at General Catalyst Partners.

The Shark Tank–style competition was moderated by Peter Boyce of General Catalyst Partners and Rough Draft Ventures alongside Andrew Parietti ’10, president of Outdoor Voices. The panel heard from Thought Into Action students Samantha Braver ’18 and Ryan Diew ’17 of airport navigation app Trippie; Richard Sanders ’17 of the sports beverage company Seela; Miranda Scott ’18 of The Waffle Cookie, a socially conscious baked-goods start-up; and Rex Messing ’15 and Ryan Clement ’16 of the outdoor adventure firm Tuwa Tuwa, Inc.

After delivering their pitches and answering a series of questions from the pros, the students split a $20,000 pool of capital that will help them move their ventures forward. The first-place prize of $6,900 was awarded to Trippie; second-place $5,200 to The Waffle Cookie; third-place $4,100 to Seela; and fourth-place $3,800 to Tuwa Tuwa, Inc.

On Saturday, an expo-style event was held in the Hall of Presidents where twenty teams of entrepreneurs showcased their ventures to almost 400 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends. Five teams alternated pitching their ventures during the afternoon to an enthusiastic and welcoming crowd. The weekend wound up with a reception at the TIA Incubator downtown with one final presentation by Jehdeiah Mixon ’18 and Hannah Shaheen O’Malley ’17 pitching their venture UNRAVEL.

Read the full article by Mark Walden from the Colgate Communications office.

Read the Maroon News article here.

 

READ OUR ARCHIVES


Congratulations to the 2016 Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund Winners

By Mary Galvez on April 20, 2016
Wills Hapworth, Samantha Braver, Ryan Diew, Adam Pratt, Nick Friedman,Leda Rosenthal, Jenny Lundt, Amber Codiroli, Britty Buonocore

Wills Hapworth, Samantha Braver, Ryan Diew, Adam Pratt, Nick Friedman, Leda Rosenthal, Jenny Lundt, Amber Codiroli, Britty Buonocore

 

Congratulations to the five teams who were chosen as winners of the Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund announced at this years Entrepreneur Weekend. The 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. The winners are:

 

Trippietrippie – a mobile app that takes the guesswork and turbulence out of navigating big airports.

Samantha Braver ’18 and Ryan Diew ’17

 

Halliganfirefighter_icon – easy to understand firehouse software so all you need to worry about is the job.

Alex Montgomery ’11, Drew Brien ’11, Adam Pratt ’18, and Nick Friedman ’16

 

Alz You NeedAlzLogoMarch2016_1_opt – a communication interface designed specifically for families with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or a dementia­-related illness.

Leda Rosenthal ’18 and Jenny Lundt ’19

 


Amber’s Natural Goods
Ambers – a producer of all natural peanut and nut products, mainly nut butters, based out of Hamilton, NY.

Amber Codiroli ’10

 

Flour & Salt BakeryFlourSalt_Logo – a local retail bakery that caters to a niche market for breakfast, baked breads and bagels, and sweet and savory pastries.

Britty Buonocore ’12

 

READ OUR ARCHIVES


Trippie – The Answer to Tired, Hungry and Grumpy by Ryan Diew ’17

By Contributing Writer on February 22, 2016
ryan diew '17

Ryan Diew ’17

Two years ago I found myself stranded in Ronald Reagan International Airport in Washington, DC. I had an hour layover before boarding my flight to San Francisco, and after a week of finals I was dying to get home. I was tired. I was grumpy. And I was hungry. There was an issue though—it hadn’t occurred to me that I needed to pack food for my trip. One might think that I could have just purchased something in the terminal, since airports have lots of food options. The problem, however, was that I had no idea what food places were nearby or how long it would take me to get to them. To make matters worse, I’d traveled with 3 carry-on bags. Given how tired I was from traveling all day, lugging my bags a long distance across the airport to search for food would simply not have been very feasible. During this time of despair and ravenousness I thought to myself “Why isn’t there a service that can show me airport food vendors, and deliver food to me?” It was in that moment that Trippie was born. I made the decision right then and there to pioneer a service which would remedy a problem that far too many travelers face on a daily basis.

sam braver '18

Samantha Braver ’18

Over time, Trippie has evolved from an airport food delivery service, to an airport information mapping tool, which allows travelers to see all of the food vendors around them in the terminals. Currently, there is no mobile based service that’s focused on helping travelers see nearby food options, as only individual airport websites hold this information. Trippie is a mobile app that will take the guesswork and confusion out of navigating big airports. Frequent flyers will no longer need to visit many different airport websites, which are often very “buggy”, since Trippie consolidates all of the essential information into one simple app. The app will allow travelers to explore a detailed interactive map for any airport they visit and immediately get the lay of the land. Current development of the app is going very well. Using San Francisco International Airport as our model, we have successfully integrated mapping functionality, as well as a menu displaying food options in each terminal. We are looking forward to having the app available for download by fall 2016.

TrippieSince the idea’s original conception, I have had the pleasure of meeting an exceptional woman in Samantha Braver ‘18. A casual conversation about campus activities fostered a strong friendship and partnership which took this idea to new heights. From day one, Sam’s creativity, passion and intelligence has helped grow and improve Trippie substantially. The addition of Sam, partnered with the help of TIA mentors Janice Ryan ’94 and Bruce Rutter ’73, has really helped us turn thought into action, as we are about to embark upon something really great with this venture. Janice and Bruce stressed to us the importance of taking small steps with our venture, which makes solving the current problem that plagues airplane travelers very realistic and attainable. Trippie would not be possible without them.

Ryan Diew is a junior majoring in Computer Science. This past summer he worked with Google to become Colgate’s Google Student Ambassador on campus for the 2015-16 academic year. On campus Ryan is involved in numerous activities including varsity basketball, Link Staff and student government. He is very interested in the fields of Computer Science and technology, as well as marketing and advertising.

Samantha Braver is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science and Art & Art History. She is a member of the SGA Executive Board, does marketing for the fitness department, and is a member of marketing club.

READ OUR ARCHIVES


BubbleTrails – Bubbles, a Princess, Pirates, and Dreams

By Mary Galvez on January 28, 2016
Jean and her daughter Jessie

Jean Neidhardt and her daughter Jessie

True to the start-up nature of TIA, this past year we tried something new. We opened the Student Incubator to community members. We have three non-students who are incubating their ventures alongside our student entrepreneurs. Clay Skinner owns the Hamilton Eatery and is interested in possibly expanding his business while also looking for new opportunities. Scott Williams also owns a local restaurant, N13 and joined TIA to develop new ideas for growing his business. Jean Neidhardt developed a board game and is looking for help in bringing the game to market as the first in what will hopefully be a line of bathtub games for kids. We spoke with Jean about her venture as well as her experience in TIA.

**************************************

Jean Neidhardt is from Morrisville, NY and has spent the last 36 years working in various industries in management positions. A few years ago, when her daughter Jessie was a little girl, they came up with an idea for a board game that would make bath time fun. Jean talked to a number of people about her idea, and while everyone told her it was a great idea, Jean wasn’t sure how to even begin to turn that idea into a reality. Over the years she did some preliminary work by creating a rough prototype and tested it a bit, but mostly the idea just sat in the back of her mind. When she was presented with the opportunity to join the TIA Student Incubator, Jean jumped at the chance. The positive reaction she got from the mentors and students when she pitched her idea at the very first session in August was validation that she might be on to something. Jean has bubbletrailsspent these past months working on BubbleTrails, the first in a series of bathtub games for kids. She has created and distributed surveys to end-users, developed a business plan, refined the artwork and design of the game, created additional prototypes and tested them with real users, created a website, and is currently taking pre-orders. She knows she still has a way to go before BubbleTrails is ready for distribution, but Jean is excited by the prospect of finally seeing her dream become a reality.

What is your venture and how did it come about?
Bathtub Games for Kids, Inc. creates educational board games that are waterproof and played in the bathtub by young children. Our first product is called BubbleTrails. This game makes bath time fun. It teaches children how to take a bath while learning about colors, letters, shapes, and numbers. The first child to complete the bubble trail is clean and dry, with teeth and hair brushed, PJs on, and in bed. Parents then read to their young children an enchanted story about Jessie and her golden retriever Riley called, “The Girl Who Would Never Take a Bath.” BubbleTrails helps parents create more quality time with their children and helps everyone get more sleep.

The idea for BubbleTrails just happened one day when Jessie and I were sitting at the dinner table. Our family, and our very close friends who lived next door when we were growing up, have always created lots of games. Some of them are: The Ball Game, Peggy in the Hole, Mop Pail, Bean the Man on the Moped, War, Panther Tunnels, Black Ghost and more. That’s probably why BubbleTrails just popped out.

Jessie with her brothers and dog Riley

Jessie with her brothers and dog Riley

Have you started any other businesses? Why now?
In addition to being an Enterprise Operations Manager at The Hartford Insurance Company, I also own a leadership coaching business and coach private clients part-time. Check out my landing page at http://www.jsnllc.com.

Now is a perfect time for me to start another business. My three children are now grown. Christopher is a leasing manager at several malls in NY and NJ. Ryan is in his second year of a medical residency in California. Jessie, the little girl who inspired the story, is in her first year at Hamilton College where she’s playing soccer and studying neuroscience.

What has your experience been like in TIA?
TIA has been an absolutely wonderful experience for me. I was a little concerned about being an older person in the middle of a lot of college kids but that hasn’t turned out to be an issue at all. In fact I’ve made some great friends. The mentors are very knowledgeable, experienced in creating businesses, and they care very much about our success in carrying through on our ventures. They keep us focused! That is the reason that we have come so far.

Anything else you want to add?
I am so grateful to be part of TIA and Bathtub Games for Kids, Inc. will be a successful business because of all that TIA has done.

READ OUR ARCHIVES

css.php