Born in Dorms: iSpye Something Amazing

3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus.

Callum Leslie, Cofounder at iSpye

Calum Leslie, Cofounder at iSpye

Calum Leslie was a law student at the University of Edinburgh when came up with the social travel app, iSpye. Leslie is obsessed with the concept of entrepreneurship, citing “Screw it Lets Do it!”, the Autobiography by Richard Branson, as a key source of inspiration. Throughout his time as a student and founding multiple startups, Leslie has won various UK wide competitions, including Young Consumer of the Year 2008 and Young Enterprise 2009.

ispye

While Leslie was participating in a study abroad program at The University of Texas in Austin, he felt there was an opportunity to build on the international exchange platform, especially for college students. He first struggled when he arrived in Austin, and realized other students arriving in their exchange destination would want to instantly connect with others to integrate fully into the local community. As Leslie states, “To many students, travel can be both a daunting and intimidating experience, and a solution had to be found to help create a new home from home.”

It soon became apparent to Leslie that the appeal and use of such a solution was for anybody that travels, not just for exchange students. And thus iSpye, a social travel app that allows users to connect with like-minded people and find places of interest around them, was born. The company created a social application to allow users to communicate with each other, build cross-cultural relationships, and share useful travel information to current and future students informing each other of the best places to go and see in a host city.

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Born in Dorms: Pax Backpacks Supports Disadvantaged Students

3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus.

final_logo-02Joe Morrison is a senior undergraduate student studying Religion at Davidson College. He also founded Pax Backpacks, a line of American made backpacks. Pax donates 22 percent of its profits to after school programming for disadvantaged and low income students. The bags are made of 1000 Denier Cordura™ Nylon, lined with genuine oxford cloth, and finished with YKK brass zippers. They are designed for exceptional durability with an understated and classic style.

Morrison started the startup just three months ago. “I had a one page business plan and an excel spreadsheet with phone numbers from about thirty apparel manufacturers in the Southeast,” says Morrison. Today, Pax Backpacks has developed a custom line of daypacks with a manufacturer in Greenville, North Carolina, launched a website, and is now pre-selling their first round of bags through IndieGoGo. His goal was to raise $3,000 through the crowdfunding site and the company surpassed their goal in just two days. Morrison says the next step is to fill their first orders by October and focus on collecting feedback from early adopters and refining the product design. They hope to start ramping up marketing and expanding their product offerings as they learn more from their customers this upcoming year.

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Born in Dorms: Rosie Predicts and Buys Household Items You Need

3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus.

Rosie, Cornell University

Rosie, Cornell University

Nick Nickitas, a Johnson MBA student at Cornell University cofounded Rosie in September 2012 along with fellow MBA student Jon Ambrose, and Michael Ryzewic, a Columbia alum.

Rosie predicts household items customers need before they run out, and orders them from local grocers and online retailers. Customers can use Rosie on their mobile phones or through Rosieapp.com. Rosie uses patent pending machine learning algorithms to provide a fast and convenient shopping experience for its customers, as well as targeted shopper marketing insights for retailers.

One of the key resources Nickitas and his team have found instrumental to Rosie’s growth and success has been the eLab, Cornell’s business accelerator for high potential startups. “The eLab has provided us with the mentors and resources that have helped to move our company from the idea phase to a product launch. Our mentors from the eLab have introduced us to key industry contacts, as well as top retail experts,” says Nickitas.

In April, Rosie won an accelerator competition called Startup Labs Syracuse, receiving a $150,000 cash prize as well as $50,000 in in-kind marketing resources. Over 100 startups applied to the program and Rosie was among the five finalists that competed in the final demo day. While this was a big milestone for Rosie, Nickitas says their biggest accomplishment to date is transacting their first order. “We completed our first end-to-end order with the system in March to order food for our company’s first annual offsite retreat. This order was the culmination of seven months of hard work, and our team couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished.”

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Born in Dorms: Hublished Helps Brands Get Their Content Discovered

3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus. 

Nis Frome and Hublished team from Rutgers University

Nis Frome and the Hublished team from Rutgers University

Hublished LogoNis Frome, a Marketing undergrad at Rutgers University, co-founded Hublished in 2012 with Ben Borodach and Yair Aviner.

Hublished is a discovery platform and social network where brands build followings by sharing expert content in the form of webinars, e-books and podcasts. Dubbed “convention in the cloud,” Hublished allows users to find and purchase various materials from experts in their field.

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