Student Tooli team makes e-Fest national finals

A team of Grove City College students is advancing to the national finals of an undergraduate entrepreneurship competition this week.

The team will be pitching Tooli at e-Fest at the University of St. Thomas’ Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in Minneapolis, Minn.

Tooli is among 25 teams moving forward in the competition in which over $215,000 in prize money is up for grabs. The competition involves pitching a business idea to a panel of judges.

This is the first time that team Tooli has made the finals in a national competition. The team is participating in the 2023-24 VentureLaunch program sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation (E+I). The E+I VentureLaunch program affords student run businesses the opportunity to grow and explore new opportunities with the support of coaches, mentors, and pre-approved expense reimbursements. VentureLaunch is the perfect program to help small, student-run businesses scale and reach their fullest potential.

Grove City College continues to distinguish itself on the national stage at e-Fest, having had several teams make it to finals over the past few years. Tooli has also earned a spot as a finalist in E+I’s upcoming Wolverine Venture Battle at Grove City College on May 3.

“It is a testament to the quality of our students, our program, and the college itself that our student ventures continue to distinguish themselves in the national entrepreneurship competition circuit. Only a couple of schools have teams that make the e-Fest Top 25 on a regular basis, and the others are much larger than Grove City College,“ stated Yvonne English ’97, Entrepreneur in Residence and executive director of E+I.

“Reaching the top 25 at e-Fest is a tremendous accomplishment. This year over 150 teams submitted their pitches, so for the Tooli team to have made it this far is a great reflection of the work they have put in through our VentureLaunch program this year,” said Logan Hammerschmitt '16, E+I campus director, who will accompany the team to the competition.

Founded by senior Elliot Eyre of Winchester, Va., Tooli is an app that uses a community platform model.

“Tooli is a peer-to-peer tooling, equipment and rental application built to help users monetize their clutter and reduce tool waste. Think of it as Airbnb but for all the tools you have sitting in your garage,” Eyre explained.

Eyre will be accompanied to the competition by Tooli’s marketing manager, senior Luke Owen of Lawrence Township, N.J. Owen, who is also the CEO of video production company Pollen Productions, which helped Eyre by filming and editing marketing material for Tooli.

Eyre and Owen said they are looking forward to attending e-Fest and see it as an opportunity for growth. “E-Fest is a huge opportunity for us, not just because of the possible funding we could receive but also the connections and recognition we could build,” Eyre said.

“Having coached the team since its inception, I am excited for them to show the progress they have made to the judges in Minneapolis this week,” Hammerschmitt said. “This team has its sights set on bringing home another top 5 finish for Grove City College, and I think they have a great shot to do that.”

Student Tooli team makes e-Fest national finals

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