GCC teams earn top spots at startup weekend Pittsburgh

Students from Grove City College claimed winning spots in the 2019 Startup Weekend Pittsburgh (SWPGH), a weekend long competition where participants share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups.

The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation (E+I) sponsored 20 current students and three alumni for the trip. Ben Tobias ’19, now a marketing specialist at Redcell Talent AI, served this year as promotions director at SWPGH.

“As an organizer this year, it was incredible to observe the enthusiasm and determination that all of the GCC participants possessed while working on their ideas. This work ethic was noticed not only by other participants, but by the organizing team and many of our coaches and judges,” Tobias said.

That recognition is evident in Grove College student teams winning second place, third place, and an honorable mention.

The second-place team was headed up by Gretta Kriner, ’21 of Mercersburg, Pa., who pitched the idea for Safe Snack. The snack subscription service would provide options for businesses and organizations hosting events to cater to specific dietary needs. Other Grove City College team members included Jake Guidas ‘22, Caroline Parker ’20 and Shaylin Duren ’22. For their prize, the team receives consultations with AlphaLab or AlphaLab Gear and Cherin Law Offices.

"Pittsburgh Startup Weekend provided validation for the problem I want to solve and an incredible team to work with while doing it,” Kriner said.

Logan Hammerschmitt ’16, Cameron Suorsa ‘21, Peyton Brogan ‘22, Juliana Smith ’22, and Alec Wichman ’23 were the members of the third-place team. Alumnus Hammerschmitt of Sewickley, Pa. led the team and pitched the idea for Wyne, a self-guided, in-home wine tasting service, in the form of an app. They also won consultations with AlphaLab or AlphaLab Gear and Cherin Law Offices.

The honorable mention was for Abuse Prevention Program for Schools, an in-school program that would educate school children on abuse and support its victims. The Grove City College team members included Levi Roberts ’19, Caleb Pfohl ‘21 and Kyle Davidson ’20. Their prize is a one-hour consultation with an Upprize Coordinator.

Logan Stahl ’20 and Benjamin Salaj ’22 participated in a team pitching Local GovHub, an app for helping individuals learn about their local governments.

Jordan Hörst ’19, Ross Michaelian ‘22 Nathan Warrick ’22, Maverick Dickson ’20, and Eric Dudgeon ’23 worked on Project Morphosis, an idea “connecting body, mind and soul for a wholistic lifestyle.”

SWPGH, produced by Techstars, is one of many events E+I makes available to students to help educate and inspire innovation. E+I exists to provide programs, events and competitions for students of all majors on campus and incorporates the concept of redemptive entrepreneurship into everything it does.

For more about the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Grove City College, visit www.gccentrepreneurship.com.

GCC teams earn top spots at startup weekend Pittsburgh

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