Twenty-six Grove City College students are participating in the 2017 VentureLab, an early-stage business and social enterprise idea lab sponsored by The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the College.
VentureLab provides access to grant funding, coaching, mentorship and guidance to student entrepreneurs.
"I'm particularly excited for this batch of VentureLab teams. Every year, we see an increase in the number of engineering and computer science students who are building exciting technologies that they hope to commercialize. I expect that we'll continue to see interesting companies emerge from our talented students and alums," Yvonne English ’97, executive director of The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Grove City College, said.
Twenty-four teams applied and made their case for funding to purchase supplies or professional services that will help test the viability of their ideas. Ten teams, each with a variety of business ideas, were selected. They are:
• College Knowledge: Erin Sixt ’18 and J.P. Popham ’19 (an online college database for prospective students)
• Armeria Co.: Angela Kim ’18 (an online thrift store for women who seek to advance their personal style at a low price)
• Haven: Chris Zimmerman ’17, Jonathan Brutt ’18 and John Umble ’17 (a smart home security system)
• MapYap: Andrew Cunningham ’17, Jessica Lewis ’17, Tyler Mulley ’17, Nick Gillot ’17, Guilherme Pereira ’18, Connor Grumling ’17 and faculty advisor Dr. William Birmingham (a social media platform aimed at connecting people to virtual communities)
• PrintIt: Stephen Weaver ’19 (a 3-D printing construction and housing company)
• Riot Racing: Benjamin Tobias ’19 and Logan MacKenzie ’17 (an exploration in the possibility of connecting mechanical vehicles through the power of the internet)
• Robomic: Matt Kauffman ’17, Matt Vavro ’17, Allie Olson ’17, Mitchell Buzard ’17, Ryan Brothers ’17 and Eric Martin ’17 (a microphone mount allowing remote operating by sound operators)
• StickPick: Adam Lowe ’18 (a guitar pick made specifically for finger style playing)
• Studio Song: Jordan Hörst ’18 (an application that hosts everything you need to write a song)
• Team Up India: Lindsey Reichert ’17, Ezekiel Hoole ’18 and Kelsey Patton ’17 (an after school sports program in India that teaches kids about nutrition and fight malnourishment)
The mission of the VentureLab, in its fifth year at the College, is to help the campus community explore and develop new ventures based on their own original concepts. The lab serves as a valuable starting point for innovation and enables aspiring student entrepreneurs to gauge the feasibility of their ideas. Selected student teams may apply for seed grants by making a business case for the funds which include a breakdown of the use of funds and milestones to be achieved. Additional rounds of funding may be requested if measurable progress is shown and students will be encouraged to bootstrap and operate as leanly as possible.
English and Dr. Timothy S. Mech, professor of Business/Finance and Entrepreneurship, serve as coaches to the student teams.