Archive for Millennial Entrepreneurs – Page 2

Mustafa Khanwala – MishiPay

MishiPay LogoThe story of how MishiPay came about is quite simple, waiting in line for 20 mins at a supermarket just for a can of soda is incredibly too long. Why wait for so long for a product, surely the process could become faster if they allowed self-check out? Mustafa Khanwala came up with just that process, he came up with the idea for an app that allowed customers to scan a bar code on a product at a supermarket and pay for it through their phone. This allows the customer to save a great amount of time and the store to save money and time without the need for a lot of check-outs. Mustafa fits the qualities of an Entrepreneur by simply establishing a problem and then following through with a solution. It’s amazing to think that something so simple as waiting can be easily solved and taken as an opportunity from a start-up business.

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.

www.chasingpaper.com

Garrett Gee: Lucky Hunch

Just before the Ipad 2 came out, a young university student named Garrett Gee had the hunch that there would be blog posts all over the web listing the top 10 apps for the new device. Garrett then came up with the idea that there should be much easier QR code software and apps to use with the new device. Because Garrett felt that he was on to something, he go to work immediately.Had to act quickly to be the first to implement his idea. After quickly getting an Ipad 2 into the hands of his ios developer, Garrett spent two sleepless nights developing his service before it was completed. He named his app Scan and recruited two fellow classmates to help develop the service further and it was finally launched in February of 2011. In the first year, Scan earned over 10 million downloads and made over 1.5 million dollars from venture capitalists such as Google Ventures.

In class we have talked about how many ideas originally stem from a lucky hunch like Garrett’s. When a hunch is taken seriously, it can lead to big ideas and successful accomplishments like the scan application. Hunches are able to develop by clashing with other people’s ideas and hunches. After getting the input of his two fellow classmates, Garrett’s hunch was improved and transformed into the extremely successful idea of Scan.

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.

https://www.facebook.com/CHDHeartHugs

Tegu: The Best of Both Worlds

“You cannot teach creativity; all you can do is let it blossom, and it blossoms in play.” Recognizing that children can build motor skills, creativity, sharing, and even fractions and scale simply though play, Tegu set forth on a mission to create a toy with hidden lessons. The wooden building blocks come in various shapes, all of which are set to a 30mm scale so as to insure that they all work with one-another, are designed with strategically placed magnets on the inside completely concealed from sight. With this cool feature, children can use the blocks to build animals, cars, houses and much more. However this is not the most compelling fact about Tegu.

The company is based out of Honduras and has quite a unique story. Setting it apart from both charity’s and multi-million dollar company’s, Tegu took a unique approach to starting their business. While most companies think of ways they can make money and a desired product, and charities think of ways to help people, Tegu does both. When Chris and Will Haughey, the founders of Tegu, were starting their business they began by asking the question “Could we create a for-profit company based in Honduras that would foster a positive social impact through its business?” They began by finding an issue, framing it, and working from there. The issue was not the lack of an innovative magnetic building blocks however. The issue the brothers discovered was 30% unemployment in a struggling economy in South America.

Tegu could have built their thriving company in America, closer to friends, family, and their primary market, but that was not their mission. The factory in Honduras is self-sustaining and employs otherwise jobless Hondurans giving them the chance to make a living and earn promotions. Tegu discovered a new way of charity combined with business and they are thriving. They were the first of their kind, making them the best of their kind, and they are proving it.

Timothy Hwang: FiscalNote and Legislation Prediction

Timothy Hwang and FiscalNote

 

 

Timothy Hwang founded FiscalNote in 2013. Prior to entering the field of legal data and business, Mr. Hwang spent time in politics, beginning in the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama and later serving on the Montgomery Board of Education. He is a Princeton graduate and is a “World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, a Trustee on the Board of the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region (the largest funder of non-profit and philanthropic initiatives in the region), and a member of the The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO)”. (timothyhwang.com)

In the years since it was founded, FiscalNote has become the largest company in the field of legal data analysis. It has offices worldwide and works with over 1,300 organizations and governments. FiscalNote uses data, AI, breakthrough machine-learning techniques and other technological aids to learn over time how governments legislate — on the federal, state, or local level — and allow companies to predict how they will need to react to changes in legislation. The FiscalNote website says that they, “support an enterprise-based approach to modern government affairs.” (fiscalnote.com)

 

Willow Tufano: Entrepreneurial Foresight

Willow Tufano is a fourteen year old girl living in Florida with her mother who works in real estate. When the recession hit a few years ago, Florida was hit very hard and houses that were initial being sold at $100,000 were now being sold for only $12,000. Because of the low price of homes, Willow got the idea to purchase a house of her own! She had saved up some money by clearing houses and selling the included possessions online. When her mother found out that she wanted to buy a house at 14, unlike most parents, she was in full support (also in support of the rest of the needed funds). Knowing that the housing market would pick up in the future, Willow and her mother rented out the purchased house and charged $700 a month. They have already earned back their initial investment on the house and have even made a profit. In the future, Willow plans to buy her mother out and own the house alone. When the housing market picks up in the future, Willow is likely to see an amazing increase in her already impressive amount of profits.

Quinn Hu – Distractify

What distracts us in this day and age? Videos, articles, comment wars, etc. on our Facebook feeds are big attention grabbers. I think we can all agree Facebook’s path has turned from an opportunity to keep up with people into the latest news/drama/debates source. Media companies are consistently promoting these eye-catching  topics and finding success in them.  Quinn Hu, a 23 year old entrepreneur, has jumped on this opportunity. He is the co-founder and CEO of the company Distractify. There’s not much to say about this company, their title says it all. They aim to enhance your waiting experience, study struggles or any other seemingly boring task by providing interesting videos, articles, and topics for your choosing. According to their website, they are fulfilling that need by drawing 30 million people away from their boring tasks each month.

Quinn Hu has fulfilled a growing need, he’s seen an opportunity and created a solution. He exemplifies the thought-process, attitude, and go-get-it qualities found in successful entrepreneurs.

http://www.distractify.com

Alley Cat Designs

Jewelry for the Purrr-fect Touch

When Alyssa was a little girl, she always looked forward to the special times when her grandmother would visit, bringing with her a bag stuffed full of art and craft supplies. Alyssa was creative by nature, so it never mattered much to her what was in the bag – it was all about the joy and excitement of creating something new, something beautiful, something that hadn’t been there before.

It was during one of these afternoons with her Grandmother that Alyssa first discovered her love for jewelry making.  On that particular afternoon, the craft bag was full of beads, string and jewelry wire, and as the two sat making Christmas presents for her mother, a new passion was born.

From that day forward, Alyssa wanted to do more than just make beautiful new things. She wanted to make things that made other people feel beautiful. Alyssa had always found joy helping other people feel as beautiful as they always were in her eyes, and with her grandmother’s beads in her hands, she realized that she now had the tools to do just that: make things that could help women see just how beautiful they really were. And she was right – ever since clasping that first bracelet of plastic beads around her mother’s wrist, Alyssa has been designing the type of jewelry that makes the wearer feel beautiful and which reminds everyone that it is the bird that makes the feathers.

Today, Alyssa is fresh out of Cornell University with degrees in Business and Sociology and is working to launch her jewelry company, Ally Cat Designs . What began as the passion project of a little girl in love with all things beautiful has grown into a business which has inspired and empowered women all across the globe. Alyssa spends as much time traveling as she possibly can, drawing inspiration from women around the world. Along the way, she supports local artisans by collecting materials to incorporate into her jewelry, all of which is utterly unique and designed around the women who inspire her.

Alyssa prides herself on not being limited to one style or aesthetic; instead, she has something for everyone: from classic to edgy, minimalistic to romantic, each piece is handmade and one-of-a-kind, made to reflect the individual beauty of every customer. Her designs also reflect her commitment to sustainability and accessibility. Fast fashion this is not! Each of her piece features timeless style and is made to last.  But rather than using rare metals which are expensive and easily broken, Alyssa carefully selects materials which are more widely available and which stand the test of time. Great thought is put into each and every element of the design process so that each piece tells a story.

Alyssa likes to keep things personal; for her, it’s all about relationships. She is dedicated to her clients and designs with them in mind. Her favorite method of sales is house shows: by bringing clients together in an intimate environment, she gets to meet and be inspired by the women she serves. She mingles among her clients, getting to know them and helping them find that perfect piece. And if you come back to a second show, she is likely to pull you aside to show you something special she designed with you especially in mind!

As her business has grown, she has also adapted her model to meet the needs of a wider audience and has launched a website to make her work more widely available. But even with her expanding platform, Alyssa has sacrificed neither style nor substance. She still makes each piece by hand and each is one of a kind!

Down the road, Alyssa hopes to use her business as a platform from which to support other artists and to promote ethically sourced fashion. She is also passionate about social and economic development in impoverished nations. Having traveled extensively in both South Asia and Africa, Alyssa is committed to building supportive relationships with artists across the globe and using her work to empower and give back to women both at home and abroad.

It has been my great privilege to watch my dear friend Alyssa build and expand her business over the years, and I am so excited to share her story with you. Her’s is truly a project driven by a selfless passion to serve the women of the world, and the more her business grows, the more lives she touches. She doesn’t create jewelry for women to hide their insecurities behind; instead, she creates pieces that tell a story and celebrate the unique beauty of every woman.

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..