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
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.”