Author Archive for cameronsuorsa

Airbnb – A new way to travel…

Brian Chesky started a multibillion-dollar startup after getting an idea to make some money and provide individuals who couldnt find a place to stay when hotels were overbooked. He founded AirBedAndBreakfast with two other cofounders, Gebbia and Blecharczyk after an email to his collegue in 2007. Since its founding, they have shortened their name, now Airbnb, and expanded to over 30,000 cities and has been used by more than 60 million guests! It gives guests the ability to book unique homes and experience cities around the world like a local. Presently the startup is the second highest valued startup in the United States with a valuation of $31 Billion dollars. Although still CEO of his company, he handed daily operations to Blecharezyk while retaining 13% equity giving him a net worth of $3.8 Billion. The company is still a privately held startup but may go public in the future. One of the greatest traits of Chesky’s entrepreneur spirit is with his drive to find a new venture even after landing #8 on Forbes list of the Worlds Wealthiest Enrepreneurs under 40. 

PGH Startup Weekend: Amelia App for Women

Do you ever wonder what could be acheived in 54 hours? In 2016, Pittsburgh Startup Weekend Women’s Edition was hosted for the first time ever… and as a result, the winning team Go Jane Go’s Amelia App is now in the beta testing phase. Kate’s idea to create an app to connect women with other professionals in cities away from home was given a chance to develop when she and her sister Ellen attended Startup Weekend and met UX Designer Sanjana. Together they were able to create a solid foundation for their venture while not only winning the competion, but receiving resources to help them in their quest to develop it. These three individuals skills paired with the proper resources and enviroment accelorated the creation of a community womens app.

This year at Pittsburgh Startup Weekend, three of the top winning teams were comprised of some your own fellow GROVERS, with business ideas for Active Home, Chute and The Good Find… so be on the lookout for these potential businesses in the future!

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Chasing Paper

Elizabeth Rees grew up in an entreprenural family, her father managed a printing plant called Kubin-Nicholson. Although she didnt always plan to become involved with the family printing business, she ran a line of modular wallpaper using the plant’s digital paper that became an instant hit among her friend that sparked serious word of mouth. Elizabeth has traveled through many towns and cities growing up and her entrepreneurial spirit has been cultivated along the way. Having to decorate her many homes around the globe, the idea for a modern wallpaper for the urban home was formed. Chasing Paper is an e-commerce brand that specializes in stylish, removable wallpaper that was led by Rees with backing by her families company. It is on track to hit $1 million in sales with its wall paper retailing at $40 a piece. This entreprenur found a way to use what she had availible to cater to her own style and passions.

Ten year old Girl Makes Heartfelt Impact

Lorelei McIntyre-Brewer is a ten-year-old from Duncannon, Pennsylvania. She was born missing half of her heart, and her twin brother, Rory, passed away before the two could ever meet. She underwent major open heart surgery shortly after birth and has since then undergone 21 medical procedures including three open heart surgeries.

After her third open heart surgery, Lorelei’s lungs collapsed and she underwent a long grueling recovery where she was given a compression heart pillow to relieve the pain… but the pillow was much to big for a girl like herself. This made her think… why aren’t their smaller compression heart pillows made for children? So then at the age of 5 her mother taught her to sew and she began making compression heart pillows for pediatric open heart patients, aiding them in their own recovery’s. She named her organization Heart Hugs, and it spread like wildfire!

Heart Hugs works with children’s hospitals, orphanages and families to provide these pillows at no cost for patients and families through the kindness of volunteers around the world that help Lorelei ensure that no child is turned away. Her non-profit organization has only been the start of her work as she helps her brother Cavan, the 2015 Army Military Child of the Year, manage Socks for Vets, which provides goods for veterans and helped to train and care fore goats used in providing service support to wounded warriors.

Lorelei has been nationally recognized, receiving recognition from the Points of Light Foundation, the Maryland Volunteerism Award, and being featured on Dr. Oz show in 2015. She is affiliated with many organizations, including 4-H where she was recognized in 2016 and 2017, where I was lucky enough to meet her in person at multiple state conferences. Lorelei is not even thinking about slowing down. As she explained, “I am missing half of my heart, and people sometimes think I can’t do anything, but I can.” And she does.

Feeling lost? This young entrepreneur found a solution!

Four years ago, the then 19 year old Benjamin Marasco received some of the worst news possible… “You have Cancer.”

Being diagnosed and fighting cancer is hard enough of a battle leaving you to feel lost in life… but when Ben went to various hospitals to receive treatment, he time and time again would get lost on his way to appointments. This consistent confusion made him feel unseen, unimportant and just another number… not to mention being regularly late to his appointments. But Ben asked himself if their might be a different way to go about navigating hospitals. A way to get to appointments on time, take the stress out of navigating hospitals and focus on the patients and their families. This is why Ben founded Pathpoint Health…

Pathpoint is an app recently launched at Washington Hospital available on the Apple Store and Google Play. It allows users to input their destination in the hospital and gives them step by step guided instructions to get to their destinations on time! Using IPS (Indoor Positioning System) to guide users, Pathpoint solves the traditional problems of hospital visits while providing a new experience to patients. The startup projects to expand to providing its services to multiple other hospitals in the near future.

Entrepreneurs like Ben demonstrate key characteristics that make them successful. Determination and Drive are essential as seen with his successful rise against cancer and graduating with the award of Senior Man of the Year from Grove City College just this past spring as well as in his business venture. Other important skills include communication, teamwork and innovation. His promising company is one that inspires me to create a business founded on one of my passions to help others, as I hope it does for you too. Ben is innovating the healthcare field with a new way we interact with hospitals, a new way to give direction to those who are feeling lost in mind, body and soul. A new vision for hospitals everywhere..





Nannies by Noa

Noa Mintz like so many others grew up with a nanny. Her parents would hire nannies to watch her and her siblings but they all simply seemed uninterested in the children that they were being paid good money to care for. Realizing this and eager to have a better nanny, she took matters into her own hands. Her parents let her select the next babysitter and soon she began helping friends and family select their caregivers.  She saw a demand for a New York nanny agency that would provide caregivers that were carefully selected and represented the personality vibe that families deserve. At age 15, three years after the founding of her business “Nannies by Noa,” she had over 75 employees on her staff.

Noa found a niche in the market that was very personal to her. She learned how to design a website, purchase insurance, preform background checks and meet demands of hundreds of parents. After rapidly rising demand she found herself extremely busy and with high school approaching, she hired a manager to oversee day to day operations. In three years time she was able to create a well known caregiving company in New York that now generates her a salary of over $300,000 a year with the 15% initial matched caregiver salaries.

It is incredible that a 12 year old girl could create such a successful multimillion dollar business by acting on her idea. So often are children told that they cant do something real and then this discourages them from taking initiative to innovate our society.