All of us had different plans for this year but with the economic shutdown, everything came to a standstill. While the majority of us opted to let go of all the plans and stay at home there are people like Izzy who saw it as an opportunity and started their own business.
Izzy was supposed to go to travel but when Covid-19 canceled her plans she decided to open a cafe using her savings. It was either the cafe or Uni and the choice was easy. Her parents were one of the reasons that inspired her to take up this path. They run their own business and are Izzy’s biggest influencer. She worked in a cafe before and thought owning her own cafe was the perfect idea for her.
She is still not sure about the future of her cafe. For now, she is just going with the flow, enjoying doing what she loves. She will be hosting an artisan market soon. Being the owner of a small business she would like to showcase others like her.
- Oct. 16, 2020
Local Hero Briana who helped her favorite charities by selling Lemonade from a glittery pink stand won a state Student Hero Award when she managed to raise more than $7000 for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. The thing Briana liked the most about the honor she received was that she gets a chance to be among peers who like to help others and that the community realizes that there are people helping others.
Briana won various other awards and titles. In 2018 she received the title of National Lemonade Day Entrepreneur of the Year when she raised $975. She won the Incredible Kid Award for raising more than $2500 for Children’s Alopecia Project. Liles also took part and won in the Copperas Cove Five Hills Scholarship Pageant in 2018. She raised money and created awareness about the Children’s Alopecia Project.
Along with the fundraising Briana also collects supplies for a local animal shelter and volunteers at a nursing home.
- Oct. 16, 2020
Many a time we have to let go of some amazing business ideas just because we don’t have the perfect team to execute it. Shruti Dowlath faced the same problem but instead of just letting it go she decided to find a solution and that’s how UnifySA was born.
UnifySA aims to bring together like-minded people with common business interests. Student entrepreneurs can list the desired that they look for in a business partner and the platform will connect them with their prospective partners. Dowlath thinks that universities are the place where lots of innovative business ideas are born and her business will help them become a success.
Unlike other competitors, Shruti had no business plan to present in the UCT Shark Tank. All she had was the idea of UnifySA. Making it to the final round was a dream for her so when she was announced as the winner she was ecstatic. While talking about the experience she says “Pitching in front of sharks is scarier than being in an actual shark tank. It was either sink or swim”
UnifySA was launched on 28th September following which a number of student entrepreneurs expressed interest in being a part of the team.
- Oct. 12, 2020
How many times have we missed important messages in all the chaos that our chat section is? Dive Chat will solve your problem. It is a group chat messaging application that breaks down groups of people into multiple chats which helps students to stay organized. It was developed by students of Stony Brook University and launched on 1st August 2020.
Dive Chat integrates two channel-based communication applications, Slack and Discord one of which is for professional use while is other is mainly used for online gaming. It also features event management and tracking. This makes it a perfect application for students as it is an open space for any type of group. It also has great aesthetic values which makes it really user-friendly.
Several other universities also launched Dive Chat on Aug. 1, including Binghamton University, Baruch College, and Arizona State University. Many clubs have expressed interest in using the platform. Although the start-up was slow after the launch due to technical error its gaining momentum steadily.
- Oct. 11, 2020
Sigil Wen became one of the finalists in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge with his video about proteins
Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global initiative where students aged 13-18 are invited to create a video that explains the concept of Physics, Mathematics, or life sciences. It aims to develop the knowledge of science and scientific principals among youngsters and encourage them to choose a STEM career. The winner is rewarded with a scholarship worth $250,000
Sigil Wen made a video about proteins. Proteins are fundamental building blocks of all lives. By studying there structure one can know their functions. Through research on proteins, we can gain insights on cancer and even COVID 19. For this video idea Sigil was chosen as one of the finalists.
- Oct. 9, 2020
Jordan quit a sales job of a year and a half to set up YOM to raise your vibrations one bite at a time.
YOM, seems like another name of a restaurant, doesn’t it? But Jordan put a lot of thought into this name. YOM is made up of two words, yum which is obvious considering it’s about food but what’s different is the use of OM. For those who don’t know, OM is a Hindu symbol for the sound of creation. Jordan wants to signify vibrations, peace, and good vibes through his food which is why he chose YOM. His mission statement is “raising your vibrations one bite at a time through food."
The idea for YOM came while Jordan was in a sales job which he didn’t quite like. Knowing his interest in cooking he quit the sales job and took some jobs in kitchens but didn’t enjoy working it there. He had this perfect idea in his head for a restaurant and none the places he worked could quite meet it. That’s when he decided to put his efforts and start something of his own.
The food at YOM will be completely Vegan. Jordan wants to show people that Vegan is not always boring, it can be tasty and exciting. He plans to experiment with different ingredients and add some interesting taste in people’s life. YOM’s packaging is also completely eco-friendly so you can enjoy your food without any guilt.
- Oct. 8, 2020
Growing up Darryl always dreamt of running his own breakfast place, it was only natural. Darryl loved cooking dinner for his large family while he was homeschooled from the age of eight. He also helped out in his granddad’s restaurant since he was 13. Loving the atmosphere and his interactions with customers he started Choice Rolls, his very own breakfast house.
Darryl serves full English Breakfast, baguettes, vegan breakfast, and cold baps. He also serves beef burgers and chips. To add to his menu Darryl has started doing Jacket potatoes. Over the period he has built some regular customers and the business is doing okay despite the pandemic. What worries Darryl is another lockdown but says he will have to cross that bridge if it happens.
- Oct. 6, 2020
While dropping out is still a taboo in society Ryncavage decided to opt-out of college and focus on developing his business which he started before entering highschool. His company CYBIOT, a cybersecurity software company was the first to receive a check $50000 from the 1517 fund.
The 1517 fund of the silicon valley venture capital firm is meant for entrepreneurs like Ryncavage who chose not to attend college and work independently on their ventures. It will help CYBIOT with experimentation and final development of the product which is set to launch this November. CYBIOT’s mission is to provide cybersecurity solutions that won’t require a team of engineers at an affordable range. They aim to create software that can be installed by most technology illiterate users without demos or need to buy costly equipment.
Along with this Ryncavage is also a part of the Borough Council that gives immense importance to community revitalization and attracting young people. Working with the council has been a great learning experience.
Ryncavage believes that any 20-year old’s identity shouldn’t be confined to their college. He says we need to normalize gap years, dropouts, and opting to work. In his works “We will run out of plumbers before we run out of MBAs”.
- Oct. 5, 2020
Did you miss out on the opportunity to experience college life and make new friends due to COVID? With Pop, make friends and find your community even if you aren’t on campus.
Pop Social Inc. founder and CEO Yoon Lee thought of this idea back in 2018 when he saw how freshers or newbies have a difficult time making friends, finding the perfect social group, and a sense of belonging in college. With the pandemic and students being stuck at home the app seems relevant now more than ever.
Pop is a platform where students can make friends according to their areas of interest and passions while staying anonymous. Users get an auto-generated nickname and can choose their avatars from a wide range. All the basic information like gender, major, year, and interests except the name is displayed on the profile. Users can go through profiles and choose whom to connect with based on their interests.
The app has over 1000 users today and is continuously growing. Started as a team of students from various on-campus entrepreneurship organizations of the University of Texas, Pop Social is now a team of university students, graduates, and some full-time employees. They are now looking to expand to more universities across the country and constantly working on the improvements.
- Oct. 2, 2020
In 2016 Abbie Wood started selling potted plants grown at her home to markets in new Plymouth. This included miniature pot plants of terrariums, succulents, air plants, and houseplants. She tried selling a lot of different products in different colors and textures.
In 2018 she moved to a permanent space which further helped her grow her business. Abbie says it was difficult to focus on her business while juggling schoolwork. But she put in a lot of effort and found an interesting balance between her passion and school work.
Wood says her business helped her gain confidence as she managed a Facebook page with over 1400 likes and over 1000 Instagram followers. She even won a 'Love u Local' competition against bigger businesses. Getting acknowledged among more well-known businesses in the city was a great experience for her.
Abbie loves her plants and knows that they are fragile which is why she does not mail the plants on order instead the customers need to come into the store to buy a plant. This also helps in maintaining personal contact with customers.
- Sept. 24, 2020