Sarah Stanton, left, and Rachel Stanton represented Switch Stream, the grand prize winner at this year’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl®. The company makes wearable devices that help persons with physical impairments control their electronics.
This summer, twelve finalists from the annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl and five additional high-potential Temple entrepreneurs took part in the 1810 Accelerator’s StartUp Studio program, completing a twelve-week curriculum designed to accelerate the growth of their ventures as they move through the fund and launch process. Startup Studio culminates in a Demo Day where companies have the opportunity to pitch their businesses to mentors, investors, and industry professionals who can provide support based on unique company needs.
This year, Summer 2020 Demo Day pivoted to a virtual format to align with current health and safety measures, but the energy from the thirteen presenting companies was still palpable as they pitched to an audience comprised of investors from Robin Hood Ventures and Mid Atlantic Diamond Ventures, Temple alumni, and members of the regional and national entrepreneurial communities. Each presenting founder highlighted progress they’ve made over the summer and outlined kinds of support they’ll need to move their ventures to the next stage.
Three ventures identified significant pivots to their business models during the program that enhanced their chances for success in their industries. Four ventures developed Minimum Viable Products and have secured their first customers. Two ventures have filed for provisional patents. Several founders have already heard from investors and strategists who are interested in learning more about and supporting their ventures.
“It is critically important to give our new ventures an opportunity to continually practice their pitches and to test their messaging with real investors for feedback,” shared Greg Fegley, Director of 1810 Accelerator Programs. “Participating in our Demo Day live pitch event does that and more. It also highlights the progress they’ve made in developing their MVP, acquiring pilot projects, and paying customers. Demonstrating traction for prospective investors is what it is all about.”
The 1810 Accelerator offers a wide array of programming aimed at helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their ventures. Membership is open to all Temple University students, alumni, faculty, and staff, creating a diverse community whose members have varied experience and perspectives–an important contributor to the potential for collaboration among members.
“Entrepreneurs are often looking to collaborate and build partnerships with people who have expertise different than their own,” says Erin McShea, Associate Director for Student Engagement at the IEI. “Someone with a strong business background might need a cofounder with more technical expertise to help with product development. On the flip side, someone with the skills to actually design and prototype products might want to hire someone with strong business development skills who can handle marketing or financials. A big part of the 1810 Accelerator’s mission is facilitating these types of connections for members of our community.”
Despite many classes and programs taking on hybrid or online formats this Fall, the Accelerator is readier than ever to continue growing their community. All competitions, events, workshops, mentoring sessions, and resources will be available online. Student organizations will hold a full semester’s worth of featured speakers and networking events. Three new online platforms—Hootboard, StartUp Tree, and Leanstack—have been launched, giving students the opportunity to continue building their networks, staying connected to the community, and moving their ventures forward.
“Entrepreneurship and innovation are all about recognizing opportunities,” says Erin McShea. “It’s what we teach and what we do. So, despite the current challenges, we’re finding new and innovative ways to stay connected to our community and keep everyone moving forward.”
You can watch this year’s Demo Day here. See the full list of presenting companies below. To connect with presenting companies, contact [click-for-email]. To learn more about 1810 Accelerator programs, visit our website at iei.temple.edu/1810.
Basick, presented by Nikhil Patel, College of Science and Technology ‘20—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Bikeout, presented by Brian Kirk, Klein College of Media and Communication ‘08—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Bucha Leather, presented by Zimri Henshaw, College of Liberal Arts ‘20—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Consider Code, presented by Kavun Nuggihalli, College of Science and Technology ‘19—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Chari Dock, presented by David Sawhill, College of Engineering Faculty—Innovative Idea Competition 2019 Finalist
House of Cesare, presented by Gabriel Madnick, Fox School of Business ‘20—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Jars du Jour, presented by Cailynn Chase, College of Liberal Arts ‘20—Featured venture in The Temple News
Join the Club, presented by Skye Atkins, Fox School of Business Management—Lori Hermelin Bush Seed Fund 2019 Award Recipient
Nebula Media Group, presented by Will Bubenik, School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management ‘18—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Potestiam LLC, presented by Nick Yarnall, Fox School of Business ‘18—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Switch Stream, presented by Sarah Stanton, Fox School of Business ‘14—Lori Hermelin Bush Seed Fund 2019 Award Recipient, Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
TiP, presented by Nick Lagnese, Fox School of Business ‘21—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Tube Escort, presented by Dominick Threeton, College of Engineering ‘20—Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2020 Finalist
Versa, presented by Gabriel Marte, College of Public Health, Alumni—Innovative Idea Competition 2019 Finalist