Undergraduate Students Earn Spirit Prize at 2021 Entrepreneurship Summer Launch Incubator
Georgetown Entrepreneurship’s Summer Launch Incubator (SLI) at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business hosted 12 entrepreneurial ventures in its startup incubator program this summer. Maria Aljure (B’21), Dhruv Johri (SFS’21), and Caridad Wille (SFS’21) of GoCook won the 2021 Spirit Prize for the incubator at the event, receiving a six-month scholarship to A Squared’s group program Action Amplified, worth $3,000.
“I could not be more thankful for everything this experience has taught me. I learned so much from great mentors and young entrepreneurs,” said Wille. “Knowing that the Spirit Prize was voted on by our fellow SLI entrepreneurs is a tremendous vote of confidence, and we look forward to taking advantage of the help we will receive from the A Squared scholarship.”
The Spirit Prize was given to the cohort-voted team that embodies the values, spirit, and work ethic of an extraordinary Summer Launch Incubator team. The prize was announced by SLI alumna Lauren Berghoff (MBA’18), founder of A Squared Online, a consulting firm that specializes in hands-on implementation support for entrepreneurs around the world.
“When I first started A Squared and joined the program, my expectation was that the steepest learning curve would be around the strategies and tactics of entrepreneurship, but something I learned was that the most powerful part of entrepreneurship is how it changes us as people,” said Berghoff. “I was thrilled that the Spirit Prize represents students not only as entrepreneurs, but who they have been for one another.”
The Summer Launch Incubator is a four-week program designed for current Georgetown students and recent graduates with early stage ventures. The summer 2021 Cohort received support from Georgetown faculty, mentors, experienced entrepreneurs, and peers; a stipend for their venture; introductions to local investors and entrepreneurs; invitations to networking events and opportunities to present their ventures; and a direct path to membership in the new Venture Lab. Participants were required to work on their business model and collect data to determine whether their idea has growth potential.
After meeting twice per week throughout June and working full-time to accelerate the development of their ideas, gain traction with customers, and build a case for investment, the participants presented their ideas to the Georgetown entrepreneurial community at a showcase on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
The Summer Launch Incubator included:
ActWordly is a social media platform dedicated to the many ways people are becoming involved in different social causes. It is led by Betsy Ratliffe (SFS’23).
Community Experiments uses the arts to improve mental health in the Black community. It is led by Lauren Jordan (MBA’22).
Competity is a tournament hosting platform and online community for League of Legends players to compete with a team, build notoriety, increase their ranking, and exchange about e-sports. It is led by Elliot Mack (SFS’22) and Younes Alakhir (SFS’22).
DopaMe is a bi-layer organic tattoo that detects dopamine levels in the bloodstream, allowing users to understand and naturally control their internal neurotransmitter levels. It is led by Tian Shi (COL’22).
EMTomorrow is creating an accessible emergency medical service pathway for underserved, young adults in Washington, D.C., by providing a free, nationally-accredited EMT-B training course. It is led by Christopher Grisham (COL’22), Ceylan Metin (COL’22), and Nina Williams (NHS ’22).
GoCook is a meal planning and recipe-sharing application that promotes positive financial behavior amongst college students through an innovative gamification experience. It is led by Maria Aljure (B’21), Dhruv Johri (SFS’21), Caridad Wille (SFS’21).
Gorilla Coffee Company aims to distribute quality organic coffee that is home-grown in Kigali, Rwanda, with a portion of the proceeds of the sales supporting wild gorillas in Rwanda. It is led by Jose Bunag (MBA’22), Yannick Munyura, and Sybil Simbulan (MBA’21).
Libero creates cutting-edge, multi-tiered CD Laddering strategies that help new, non-traditional investors remain engaged, focused, and on-track to reach their specific investment goal. It is led by Sam Pandey (MBA’21), Abeera Jahangir (MBA’21), Katerina Arzhayev (MBA’21), and Andrew Hart (MPP’21).
SpeakEasy is an app-based solution that integrates the current approaches to mental and sexual health education and communication into one holistic solution encompassing mental and sexual health topics in a community based, all-inclusive platform. It is led by Molly Sullivan (MED’21), Malika Adrien (MED’21), Binyam Bayu (MED’21), and Jay Kline (MED’21).
The Quechua Project (TQP) champions intergenerational survival of the Quechua language within the Bolivian immigrant community of the D.C. area through a variety of novel multimedia programs. It is led by Shana Inofuentes (G’21).
Dreame LLC is a content creator and life coach who supports PTSD and trauma survivors with content on social media featuring resources on self-care, anxiety, relationship support, and healing trauma. It is led by Victor Asemota (COL’22).WadhBank uses the latest in blockchain technologies and timeless halal, Islamic financial guidelines to deliver free checking accounts, faith-based and ethically-sourced savings and investments, and riba-free (interest-free) lending options through a safe and secure mobile platform. It is led by Ishmam Ahmed (SCS’22).