DivvyUp, founded with the goal of spreading happiness one pair of socks at a time, won The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship’s overall InNOLEvation Challenge and the competition’s social enterprise category sponsored by Florida State University’s DeVoe Moore Center.
With their winning title, entrepreneurship majors and DivvyUp co-founders Jason McIntosh and Mitchell Nelson walked away with $5,000 to grow their business. DivvyUp is a sock company that pledges to donate one pair of socks to someone in need with every pair of socks it sells.
The six-month InNOLEvation Challenge consisted of four rounds, with student entrepreneurs making final presentations April 10 at the College of Business. In all, $15,000 in prizes and in-kind services were awarded.
Competing in the finale were seven student startups, culled from an initial 80 fledgling ventures that submitted proposals this past October. The seven final teams made their funding pitches shark tank-style before a panel of seven judges. The ranking of teams was based on how well they used the Business Model Canvas, which focuses on identifying and precisely defining the assumptions of a new venture.
In addition to the competitors’ overall presentation, the judges considered how clearly each team stated assumptions and hypotheses, their ability to execute reliable tests of the hypotheses, how clearly they expressed what they learned and how they reacted to their new knowledge, and how significant the evidence was for the solution to be validated.
Second place and $3,000 went to entrepreneurship majors Nick O’Donnell and Jose Lorido, founders of Terraform Design, a company that designs and sells architectural indoor and outdoor furnishings through the use of parametric algorithmic modeling. Third place and $2,000 went to entrepreneurship and finance major Pablo Martinez and biochemistry major Danielle Kurtin, whose company, Door to Dump, collects trash from the doors of student apartments.
Fourth- through seventh-place businesses took home $500 each:
•Kenya Entrepreneurship Education Project (KEEP), co-founded by comparative education doctoral student John Muchira and curriculum and instruction doctoral student Brenda Wawire, created an online forum for building entrepreneurial capacity, awareness and education in Kenya.
•The Opus Project LLC, co-founded by international affairs major James Stage and political science major Mason Roth, designs and delivers skills-based educational software and content. The software, Queralyze, includes short videos and a database to assist educators in teaching students how to access and analyze complex information and communicate the analysis using informational and persuasive writing. This effort better prepares students for college and the workplace, and maximizes student success in Common Core State Standards performance.
•Urban Bike Integrations (UBI), founded by environmental studies major Ian McGinley, is a company aimed at reducing the local carbon footprint in the city of Tallahassee by providing an intelligent and adaptive e-bike sharing program for pedestrian-oriented residential communities.
•The World Phone, co-founded by business major Michael McCluskey and finance major Naveed Darbani, created an e-learning business to match language learners together for the purpose of conversing in the foreign language of their choice.
For the social enterprise category of the InNOLEvation Challenge, the DeVoe Moore Center is providing first-place winners McIntosh and Mitchell of DivvyUp up to $1,200 to compete at the Resolution Project’s Social Venture Challenge and the opportunity to apply for a Resolution Fellowship. The DivvyUp team also is receiving space, mentoring and membership in Domi Ventures, a Tallahassee and Leon County incubator, through the end of 2015. The second-place social enterprise winner, Terraform Design, was awarded admission into Launch FSU, a social enterprise accelerator for Florida State students, and space, mentoring and membership in Domi Ventures through the end of 2015.
About the InNOLEvation Challenge The InNOLEvation Challenge, which is open to current Florida State University undergraduate and graduate students, is a Business Model Canvas-based competition designed to give collegiate entrepreneurs with a big idea the opportunity to win the needed resources to launch their dreams. The seven-month long competition is sponsored by The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship.
About The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship Housed in the College of Business at Florida State University, The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship’s mission is to cultivate, train and inspire entrepreneurial leaders through world-class education, leading-edge research and applied training, consulting and mentorship and public recognition.