Summer break doesn’t stop student business ideas from having a place to thrive — the University of Georgia Entrepreneurship Program is making sure of that.
With its initial Summer Launch Program, the program gathered eight teams and gave them each $5,000 in seed money with the goal of readying their ideas for the marketplace. The program ran through June and July, and each week the teams met to discuss their progress and problems with experienced entrepreneurs and one another, gearing up for Demo Day on Friday, where the teams compete for an additional $5,000 in prize money.
Bob Pinckney, director of Entrepreneurship at UGA, spearheaded the effort and brought together an eclectic group of businesses that are “promoting UGA as a national hub for entrepreneurship.”
Here’s a look at the eight teams:
• Astrovisual — Launched from the UGA Small Satellite Research Lab, it features students from various colleges around campus with the goal of launching a student-built spacecraft into the low Earth orbit. Started by three students, the team includes nearly three dozen members now and additional projects with a bent on space. One such project is a low-cost remote-operated telescope that transmits images to cell phones and laptops.
• CourseUp — A business that helps create employment opportunities for immigrant women.
• Mindgame — Seeking to capitalize on the thriving eSports communities, it provides resources for competitors of all levels to train their skills and improve.
• PuppyFax — The winner of the 2017 UGA Idea Accelerator, it offers verified health documents and pedigree information on dogs, with information about the dog’s parents as well as the breeders who raise them.
• Reservoir — The winner of the 2017 Next Top Entrepreneur, it is a patent-pending soil moisture monitoring system for the landscaping and agricultural markets.
• Swifte — A long-distance ride sharing business helping people find easier and cheaper ways to get from one place to another.
• Yaway — A Christian clothes retailer of T-shirts and hats
• Uzo — A student staffing agency connecting business and individuals with the manpower to perform certain tasks, such as moving and event staffing.