By: Lexie Newhouse
On April 12, five Georgia State student teams competed in the Startup Semester Pitch Competition. Tayleece Paul of Lotus took home the grand prize of $100 for her startup committed to providing low-income schools and community centers with mindfulness and meditation.
Hosted by The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute’s Startup Exchange, Startup Semester is a 10-week program that introduces students to startups to foster entrepreneurial thinking through customer discovery, business model canvases, and pitches. This competitive program only selects the top ten student-entrepreneur applicants to participate in this community of networking, curated resources, and collaboration.
Paul was a former member of the program, where the judges acknowledged her transformation of the preciseness of her pitches over time and with plenty of practice.
Along with Paul, Aaron Subaney of Plutus pitched his business concept of a brand devoted to sharing wealth and prosperity within the black community through connecting local businesses to build a network for sales and reviews.
Maxime Berthome pitched Trav’Help, a startup that assists with combatting loneliness and boredom on long wait times and flights at the airport by matching people with common interests.
Sümeyra Öztürk, a speech therapist and current Georgia State PhD student, shared her idea of an app that helps patients decrease stuttering, decrease avoidance behavior, and overall increase psychological well-being.
Derek Jackson of the Collegiate Entertainment Group closed the competition with his business concept, a nonprofit organization committed to support student artists by utilizing music festival-style revenue streams to generate money for students and the schools they attend.
As the co-founder and instructor of Startup Exchange, Ricky Hunter has continued to support students with opportunities like these to share their business ideas. Hunter holds an MBA from Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business and is a graduate of Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint program. He has served as the Vice President of Business Development at Pointivo, a company that captures dimensionally accurate 3D models and measurements of any environment using any camera, and is currently supporting entrepreneurs in his role at Comcast’s The Farm Accelerator.
Interested in learning more about Startup Exchange and Startup Semester? Visit http://gsusx.com/ for information on how you can get involved on campus!