Archive for Communication

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!

Learn more about…


Gladiator Lacrosse

Rachel Zietz is the founder of Gladiator Lacrosse, a high quality sports training equipment line at an affordable price.

She was inspired to start this company when her coach told her she needed to work on her skills outside of practice. Without the proper equipment and resources to practice, Rachel found herself at a disadvantage compared to the other athletes. She struggled to find affordable, durable equipment that would allow her to even play the simple game of “wall ball.” Rachel then participated in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Program (co-sponsored by Florida Atlantic University and Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce). This program gave her the idea to solve her problem by creating Gladiator Lacrosse.

Rachel is a sophomore in High School and she has already accomplished a vast amount of success in the Lacrosse equipment industry. Her drive and creativity will allow her to achieve greatness throughout her life.

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Sean Rad: The Millennial Founder of Tinder

But in August, Rad stepped back into the role of CEO. In an interview with board member and Benchmark partner Matt Cohler, Kara Swisher reported for Re/Code that Payne as CEO wasn't going to be a "long-term fit."

One of the most popular trends right now is the concept of “swipe right,” the signature of approval of someone’s Tinder profile picture. On Tinder, millions of people are connected to local singles and can connect with those in the area with a simple swipe of a finger. Tinder has fully transformed the world of dating. Plenty of couples haven’t had met if it wasn’t for its founder, Sean Rad.

When it launched a few years ago, Tinder made over a million matches in less than two months.

Rad has been an entrepreneur for many years. Before finding success in Tinder, he has launched, ran, and sold other companies. He decided to drop out of the the Marshall School of Business in order to dedicate more time to his ventures. Rad has worked with phones since he received his first one when he was 13, and made a successful career as a result of his creative innovations to the worlds of networking, cell service, and dating.


The Men Behind the Pin

Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp are the two masterminds behind Pinterest. They wanted a way for people to be able to show collections of things they were interested in in some sort of interactive way. Pinterest is a form of social media where people can search pictures, craft ideas, cooking ideas, beauty trends, and much more. The unique thing about Pinterest, though, is that posts, called “pins,” can be saved and organized in different boards. When someone finds something they want to keep, they can save it to an existing board or create a new board. Boards are just like folders and are unique to the creator. They have a name and hold all of the pins the user puts in to them. Then, if they are looking for a new hair style, they can go to their “hair” board, find the pin they want, and show it to their hairstylist to try to recreate on them. Pinterest is useful because pins can be saved and the user can look at them months later. All the time we find tricks and pictures online that we perceive as interesting and want to save, but a few weeks, even days, later, we forget what it was or where we found it. Pinterest takes the struggle of losing the ideas away because the pins are organized and easy to go back to months later. It also allows users to connect with friends and family. If the boards are public, users can become friends on Pinterest and then look through one another’s boards to see if there’s anything in them they may want to save on their own board. People like Pinterest because it is a way for them to escape. They search things that make them happy and save the pins to look at later. They can fantasize about DIY projects they want to do and new makeup trends they want to try. It is a way for people to connect with one another and see what others are interested in. There is no slander or harassment capability, it is just there to relax, have fun, and see what makes those around us happy. These men created a new, fun way to share interesting ideas and tricks all in one place.

ReThink: A Millennial Entrepreneur’s Solution to Cyberbullying

Remember that one time someone said something at school and it hurt you, to the point that you remember it to this day? Maybe you experienced some form of bullying, a lot of people can identify with at least one case. Most of us grew up as kids without cellphones or access to internet for that matter. Verbal bullying consisted of what you could say to another person face to face or on the phone. With the introduction of the cell phone and mcyberbullying-benjaminmadeira-comost kids owning one, communication advances into other mediums. But with this easy mode of communication comes more ways to bully. Words over text last longer, but words can also be edited from the initial thought unlike face to face communication. So, many parents and school systems ask the question: Is there any way to try and limit text bullying without censorship of free speech?

Trisha Prabhu is a 16 year old female social entrepreneur with her mind set on creating something that diminishes cyberbullying. Trisha, around 13 years old started formulating an idea that limits bullying that takes place within the school system. She designed an app called ReThink. Over the past years, Trisha has won countless awards and finally got her idea officially endorsed by a shark on the show Shark Tank.

ReThink is an app that can be purchased by school systems where the app can be implemented to all electronics owned by the school. When kids go to respond to a message, if they use language that sounds offensive in nature, a message will pop up and ask if they would like to reword their text. This mere pause before sending has been proven to diminish cyberbullying immensely.


Being someone who is weary about any speech censorship, I actually find this app to be acceptable because it doesn’t prohibit anyone from speaking what they think, just suggesting that they maybe rethink how they say it. It’s obvious to see that Trisha has compassion and a heart to help others, but she also has an eye to see a solution to a problem that seemed almost hopeless for many online. As an entrepreneur, she inspires me to not look past problems that are just socially accepted as how it will always be. As a communications major, she shows me how we can promote healthy communication without infringing on people’s rights to free speech.

Life is Good

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The Life is Good Company was founded in 1994 by Bert and John Jacobs. They started by designing and selling t-shirts out of their van in the streets of Boston.

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Jake, the iconic stick figure, was created in the same year the company started. Jake was the beginning of Life is Good. The two brothers printed shirts of Jake and found that they were selling like a wildfire.

Their mission is to “spread the power of optimism”

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Their story:

Socail Media and Communication and how Facebook changed them

It is funny talking about Facebook because I can’t remember a time without it. Facebook was originally created so someone could rate faces of anonymous individuals. It has become though the platform on which it seems all other social media is either based or modeled after. I know that almost everything you connect to via internet now has an option for you to connect that to Facebook or Sign-up/Login using Facebook. People will even look at social media now before hiring someone. Besides being a place to share what is on your mind people will use it before their dates or just after meeting someone, or more so to look up to see how old friends are doing, or send a message to someone you have been meaning to talk to like a relative or friend. This masterfully crafted product was created by the household name Mark Zuckerberg. At the age of 32 he now has a NET worth of nearly 55 billion dollars. Facebook although seems to have been taken over by moms, has been coming back with the introduction of Instagram. Instagram is masterfully crafted to once again revolutionize social media, this time it is a lot harder to rant about politics and silly viewpoints. Instagram users share a picture followed by a short caption. It has only been recently that advertising/sponsored posts have been seen on Instagram. Mark has been in the spotlight a lot over the past few years with his recent successes and I have no doubt that though we haven’t seen him recently he will be back, and maybe this time with something even better.

How To Cake It: A Sweet Business Idea

1430491ed0ba289134cb2033b20500e1As a communications major, I have been wondering if there are millennials out there who have used entertainment routes to start their business. YouTube, though known for popular cat videos, has created an outlet for entrepreneurs to express their niche in the community and get a following. Through ads and merchandise, many of these youtubers have been able to make a living off a once purely entertainment field. A rising youtuber, by the name of Yolanda Gampp, (probably known by her business as “How To Cake It”) has been growing in popularity within the past year. Yolanda, a self-taught baker after her father, has been posting YouTube videos about how to make really cool cake designs…and when I say really cool…I mean realistic to the point that it’s crazy to think it’s cake! I happen to follow her on YouTube and have enjoyed watching every video her team has posted over the past year. Yolanda also customizes her own tee-shirts (a different tee-shirt for every cake she makes) along with other merchandise that can be sold at Yolanda and her team work to produce high quality weekly videos, and just recently How To Cake It won a Webby Award for Best Online Film and Video How-to &

As a mere 32 year old from Canada, Yolanda has created a business that many have grasped on to (Over 2 million subscribers to How To Cake It, and those numbers continue to grow). My hope for Yolanda and her team is to watch them grow in success, and I wait in anticipation to see what other amazing ideas they put forward into the world. Yolanda is a big inspiration to me. As a communications major, YouTube is an amazing outlet to start a career… but me just as a person, I look and I see Yolanda succeeding at her line of work, because she found something she loved. Her business is great because it combines that aesthetic appeal people crave, and also a unique skill that only she has perfected. She is innovative in her techniques for creating different cake pieces, and her skill is what has captured many people’s intrigue. A degree does not define her, but instead an entertaining and respectable mindset. That is what makes her a millennial entrepreneur. Anyone can make a cake. I can make a cake! But few can turn a cake into a watermelon with such great detail and creativity. Her personality is also fantastic, which leaves me as the viewer, always hungry for more. Check out the link and let me know what you guys think!