GCC students take first at Techstars Startup Weekend

A team of Grove City College students won first place at the recent Techstars Startup Weekend Pittsburgh with their proposal to create a place-based dating app.

The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation (E+I), which serves Grove City College students of all majors, sponsored 12 current students for the trip to the competition. There, they competed with and against a field of entrepreneurs and business professionals, as well as other students from some top colleges and universities, including Cornell University, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and Duquesne University. 

They listened to each other’s pitches and seven teams rose to the top. The remaining participants at the sold-out event formed final teams around the best ideas. They then had just 54 hours to conceive, build, and validate a business model that could win over the judges. On the last night of the competition, teams pitched their ideas in a public forum and the winners were selected by a panel of highly qualified judges. 

One team, comprised entirely of Grove City College students, including Joey Guida ’24, Gus Minotto ’24, Luke Gilligan ’24, Andrew Coy ’26, Ella Medairy ’25, and Rafe McIlwain ’25, developed a pitch that overcame all the competitors. Their idea, called Meet Cute, is a dating app that connects people based not on looks or personality, but on where they like to go – restaurants, parks, and other destinations.

Their win earned them a year’s worth of office space at competition sponsor Avenu Workspaces and up to $5,000 to incorporate their business.

"We're extremely proud of this team of GCC entrepreneurs and of all the students who participated. It's a clear testament to the hard work and determination that are characteristic of Grove City College students. Building a business over the course of one weekend can take a toll on you, but I'm sure if you asked any of these students, they'd do it all over again in a heartbeat,” said Logan Hammerschmitt ’16, E+I campus director.

Techstars is a prominent national pre-seed investment program that sponsors startup events for super-early-stage entrepreneurs to fine tune their ideas and make connections. Techstars Startup Weekend Pittsburgh, held at Duquesne University the first weekend in February, was hosted by InnovatePGH, a public-private partnership working to accelerate the Steel City’s innovation environment.

For more about E+I, visit gccentrepreneurship.com.

GCC students take first at Techstars Startup Weekend

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