The UGA Entrepreneurship Program, whose mission is to help develop the mindset of future entrepreneurs and prepare students for business leadership roles, provides a comprehensive academic program that encompasses experiential learning and equips students with the tools and resources to pursue their own startup ventures. The program's Summer Launch pitch competition gave students an opportunity to put their hard work to the test in an effort to the further their endeavors:
The pitch competition, which marked the culmination of an eight-week boot camp featuring eight UGA student businesses, was full of “sharp” ideas, Shore said, adding there were businesses the judges wanted to try themselves. Ryze, a company that helps investors analyze and advance their bitcoin portfolio, took second-place honors. It was created by Terry College student Srikar Komanduri, Terry graduate John Zay and School of Public and International Affairs graduate Abhay Aluri.
Paggo, which bills itself as a mobile work closet, was created by 2019 Terry College graduates Lee Setty and Josefina Rodriguez Sturba and finished in third place.
“We want to thank all the teams. What a great program you are part of at the university,” Shore said. “You are doing great things. Even if you didn’t get picked here, just keep pushing. The key to entrepreneurship is being scrappy and keep going.”
The five other businesses were:
- Audiographies, created by Franklin College of Arts and Sciences student Jacob Smulian and Franklin College graduate Dhanur Sapolia, is a narrative and technical consulting firm for podcasts.
- A Date to Remember, founded by 2019 Franklin graduate Aminah Matthews, is a personal date night assistant.
- NewCrew, created by Terry student Kaitlin Lutz, matches electricians with subcontractors for full- and part-time jobs.
- Local Comforts, founded by Terry graduate Michael Gustafson and Terry student Joe Burnett, creates hyperlocal, comfortable clothing.
- I Need Express, founded by Franklin student Arianna Jones, connects people with free food to fight hunger and food inequality.
The $5,000 top prize went to Baylee Bakes, the brainchild of fourth-year advertising major in the Grady College, Baylee Marsh. Franklin College students and alumni acquitted themselves very well and we look to forward celebrating more wonderful ideas and promising start-up ventures from arts and sciences students. Congratulations all.