The program, in its first year, offers grants of $5,000 to allow students to work on their startup without needing another summer job. Beck fellow Shiang-Wan Chin’s business, farmVal, uses a machine learning model to determine soil health and predict how it will change over time, based on a multitude of factors. The information is especially helpful as banks review farm loans, because monitoring soil health is a good predictor of farm success, said Chin, M.Eng. ’19, a doctoral student studying systems engineering.
It’s an early afternoon in late May, and Wolfe Herd is in the posh ski village of Deer Valley, Utah, for Bumble’s annual retreat. A light snow falls outside despite the fact that it’s almost summer, and Wolfe Herd—slim, blond, and dressed in skinny jeans and fur-lined ankle boots—gives off an après-ski vibe. Although she’s prone to bouts of angst—at one point during her state of the company address to Bumble’s employees, she admits, “I have terrible anxiety. I have it right now. I kind of feel like I’m going to faint”—she’s chill when discussing Bumble and her ambitions.
With assignments, classes, and exams to focus on, you’d think starting a business in college would be the last thing on a student’s mind. Yet more and more of them are finding ways to combine their studies with becoming an entrepreneur. There are challenges. The key to building a successful startup is speed, and a full time college education makes that difficult. Striking the right balance between business and studying also means saying no to clubs, organizations and social events, and to hanging out with friends.
Social Innovation and Inspiration at Work
In 2018, Finnish researchers found a vulnerability that turns one key lock card, even an expired one, into a master card — as in, it could open any lock. In under a minute, using an RFID card reading and writing tool, they were able to identify the correct sequence of the master key. This incident illuminated that there are limits to how secure you can make a piece of plastic. Recently, hotels have moved toward using smartphones as room key cards for more security. Erica Grant thinks she has the key to solving it all.
Startup Boot Camp Jumpstarts Student Businesses
The Fall 2019 semester began a little earlier for twenty outgoing student entrepreneurs who competed in an energetic pitch competition as part of this year’s inaugural Great Minds Entrepreneurship Boot Camp summer experience. As a participant in this program, I can share my experience from a first-hand perspective.
On the Rise: Austin Inno’s 2019 25 Under 25
Austin is teeming with ambitious young entrepreneurs — some shooting for the moon, some hoping to simply bring a seemingly brilliant idea to life. From high school kids to students at colleges to universities and tech schools across town to startups and even big tech, Austin’s young innovators help drive the city’s entire tech and startup ecosystem forward by challenging old school ideas and practices, as well as churning out exciting new ideas and startups. Many of these rising stars fly well below the radar. A few grab a headline or two. In both cases, we wanted to follow up on our inaugural 25 Under 25 list last year with an updated version that brings in mostly new faces.
You have to love a pitch that makes you laugh — and even better that makes you think (while laughing). I knew superstar serial entrepreneur Lesley Eccles was onto something when she said, “The failure rate for marriages is 50 percent. If there were any product that had that kind of failure rate, you’d throw it out and start over.”
MCDONALD’S TO ACQUIRE APPRENTE
The voice-ordering technology company would be the burger giant’s third deal this year and comes as it plans to build a presence in Silicon Valley. McDonald’s, eager to use technology to simplify ordering and speed service, on Tuesday said it has a deal to acquire Apprente, an early-stage voice-based technology company, and plans to build its presence in California’s Silicon Valley.