(Photo by Tony Abraham)
What kinds of businesses can evolve out of an 12-week college entrepreneurship class? That’s what Archer Group community builder and University of Delaware adjunct professor Mona Parikh aimed to discover in her Intro to Entrepreneurship class this spring.
The class is part of UD’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, led by director Dan Freeman. Parikh’s class of 35 broke out into six teams and, over the course of a semester, sourced, analyzed and nurtured their ideas into viable businesses. Here’s a look at the results:
1. No Fine Print
This team created a plugin that filters through clickbait, specifically for news articles. After surveying a sample of UD’s student body, the team took the plugin and evolved it into a full-fledged gamified website. The site supplies users with two headlines — one is from a fake, satirical news site (a la The Onion) and the other from a reliable news source.
“We think the data we’re collecting would be really useful to PG candidates, professors, having undergrads work on a website is a great way to do busy work. In the political arena, you want to make your candidate known for being truthful and connecting with the public,” the team said.
Pronounced “save-able,” this business would operate as a nonprofit that connects veterans with misplaced pitbulls. “In order to get labelled as a service dog, it can take upwards of 18 months and be $10,000 per dog, so we shifted to live-in therapy dogs,” the team said. “It gives the veterans a purpose, they’re helping enhance the image of the breed and the dogs are helping them to live.”
Operating with funds from grants and donations, SaveABull would look at Manhattan and Delaware as prospective markets.
3. Pocket Pen
Pocket Pen is a portable, more convenient and affordable EpiPen. “There’s really only one major option for EpiPens, they’re really big and inconvenient to carry around with you,” said the team. Their product fits easily into a pocket for easy accessibility when experiencing an allergic reaction.
According to the team, 45-60 children die from fatal allergic reactions each year because an EpiPen is not present nor available. Right now, one company owns 95 percent of the market. Pocket Pen hopes to change that.
4. Rent Equip
Rent Equip is a sports equipment rental service that hopes to get more kids involved in equipment-heavy sports like ice hockey without parents having to worry about high costs. “The idea is to have a service where they can rent this equipment, so they don’t have to pay if they have kids that want to try [the sport] and will quit a year later,” the team said.
The team would clean the equipment using an ozone machine, which they would obtain by partnering with organizations that already own one. While starting up, the business would double as an equipment delivery service within a 50-mile radius of their headquarters.
5. Color By Numbers
This team developed a system that makes fashion quantifiable by assigning numbers to different styles of casual clothes, making the “seemingly subjective world of fashion into an objective system.”
After surveying a small sample of women in a shopping mall, the team determined most women would want to use a tool like this to cut down on the time it takes to pick out casual clothes. They hope to partner with large department stores and eventually create a mobile app.
This team created a tutoring service for middle and high school kids. “When they’re at home doing homework, sometimes their parents can’t help them, teachers aren’t there,” the team said. They would solve that problem by providing kids with online tutors — teachers who hope to pick up a few extra hours after school. They would hope to partner with Barnes & Noble and Starbucks.-30-
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