Virtual Entrepreneurship Week Awards Over $10,000 in Prize Money

Congratulations to all of the students who competed during the annual Entrepreneurship Week, March 18-25, 2021, through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society and the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program at Holy Cross.  These virtual events attracted more than 65 students with 9 alumni involved as judges and mentors throughout the week.

Kicking off the week, HC Launch held its bi-annual Innovation Challenge in partnership with CodeSaders and the Green Fund. The challenge required Holy Cross students to come up with creative ways to build community and connect students during the COVID-19 pandemic. With 11 teams pitching their ideas to a panel of six judges, two being our very own co-presidents of the Student Government Association, students managed to develop and create detailed plans and events that centered around the theme of community. The winning idea of this competition will be immediately implemented with the help and mentorship of Dean Murray.

Normally, the Innovation Challenge would have been held in person, but due to COVID precautions was held virtually this year. The Ciocca Center’s Head of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program, Ja-Nae Duane, kicked off the event by informing the teams and 70+ audience members of the ground rules, prizes and goals. Tom Cremins ’21 and Mary Anne Wiley ’22, HC Launch’s Managing Directors, led intermission and gave out raffle prizes to audience members while the judges deliberated.

Congratulations to the 2021 Innovation Challenge winners:

  • 1st Prize: $1,000 for Fresh Fest: an outdoor festival to help freshmen to connect by Nick Bettenhauser ‘24 & Sasha Paradise ‘24
    * Watch for this inaugural event scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2021!
  • 2nd Prize: $750 for HC Jumpstart, a social connection to meet others on campus by Britt Axelson ‘21, Raphaella Mascia ‘21 & Connor McNerney ‘22
  • 3rd Prize: $500 and “Most Creative Award” for Sader Sips: a senior-focused beer garden by Katelyn Cody ‘22, Julia Covelle ‘22, Allie Russo ‘22 & Karter Seitz ‘22
  • 4th Place: ‘Special JudgesAward’ received for their outdoor movie night on the freshman field by Fabiola Trejo ‘22 and Victoria Covarrubias ‘22

Special thanks to our judges: James Keyes ‘77, Cheryl Martin ’84, Dean Michele Murrary, William Turtone, and co-presidents of the SGA, Noah Sisk ’21 and Victoria Tara ’21.

The next two events were casual pitch nights for students with early stage projects or ideas. These events are designed to helps students identify next steps, stress test an idea and find team members to help build it out. The first event was an opportunity for students to pitch to their peers and the second gave students pitch practice pitching their idea to an alum, Catherine Wilcox ’80.

To finish off Entrepreneurship Week, HC Launch held its eighth annual Shark Tank Competition. The  event allows Holy Cross students to pitch their business ideas to a group of judges for five mins each, followed by three minutes of Q&A. Ten teams (five teams in the seed stage category and five teams in the early-stages category) competed for a combined total of $10,000 in prize money.

Congratulations to the Seed Stage Shark Tank Winners: a category focused on the market opportunity and concept validation of the business idea.

  • $500 to Greenlist: a browser extension for identifying environmental product info Nathan Lewis ‘22
  • $500 to That’s Yo Body: A motivation/fitness brand
    Josh Azor ‘24
  • $500 to Chering: A web-app that helps thrift stores resell their clothing.
    Jacob Azzi ‘23, Dana Dinardo ‘21, Raphaella Mascia ‘21, Genevieve Wagner ‘21 of Ohio State & Molly Zachlin ‘21of Notre Dame

Congratulations to the Early Stage Shart Tank Winners: a category for students with more developed business models.

  • $3,000 to SaderSleeps: a mattress rental service for college students by Louie Fiacco ‘22 & Will Spangenberg ‘22
  • $2,000 to PakChat: a mobile app that allows different friend groups to meet other friend groups within their own community by Peter Blunt ‘21 & Chad Arle ‘21
  • $1,000 to FUD: an app using algorithms to identify common restaurant preferences by Chris Herndon ‘22 & Jean Baptiste “Jb” Goriou ‘22

Congratulations to the Ignite Fund Winner: a category for students to work with funding and guidance through the JD Power Center.

  • $2,000 to SynchRUNous: an app for coaches to live track their runners by Meg Gerety

Special thanks to our Shark Tank Competition judges:

  • Matt Drinkwater ‘95: Former General Manager, Buzzfeed
  • Alex Hanlon ‘06: Executive, Reddit
  • Beau Lescott ‘95: President, Adaptive Portfolio Technologies
  • Michelle Stark Barrett: Director, Community Based Learning, Holy Cross
  • Jim Tselikis ‘08: Owner, Cousins Maine Lobster

Congratulations to everyone involved during the 2021 virtual Entrepreneurship Week and we hope to see you next year!

 

 

Holy Cross Students Make an Impact During Pandemic

Three Holy Cross students interviewed by WMUR.

Mary Anne Wiley ’22 and Paul Wiley ’20, along with brother Matthew, started making face shields after their parents fell ill with COVID-19.  As they safely recovered, the siblings started making face shields to donate.  Several dozen face shields were sent to their local hospital in Concord.   The Holy Cross students explored entrepreneurship through HC Launch, the student run incubator through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.  Back on campus Mary Anne & Paul Wiley started Wilox, a company creating what they call a long-lasting hand sanitizer due out in a few weeks. We are excited to learn more about this development!

 

Ciocca Center Intern Shares Path to Finance

Leif Johnson ’21, Economics Major
Fall 2019 Ciocca Center Intern


Coming into freshman year at Holy Cross I played lacrosse, and only lacrosse. That is who I was my entire life. I am very thankful for the lessons in teamwork and leadership along with the life long friends I made being that these are things I will have forever. I was never in any extracurriculars being that I truly thought all I would do is go to college, play lacrosse, and graduate with a job waiting for me. However, at the beginning of my sophomore year that all changed when I sat down and thought about all the things I wanted to explore on campus and beyond.  Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Shares Path to Finance”

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews John Andreoli ’82

 

John Andreoli ’82
President & CEO of Sullivan Group Insurance

“With an economics background, I knew I wanted to be in business for myself at some point, so this opportunity gave me the chance to build a business from the ground up and join a firm that had already been in existence, and then have built that for the past 35 years.” 

Andreoli Headshot
On February 25, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 visited John’s Worcester office for an interview and to learn about his journey from HC into the insurance industry.  John was an economics major and currently serves as the President & CEO of Sullivan Insurance.

Who/What inspired you to enter the business world?  My path was a little unconventional.  My dad was in the business on the life insurance side for 56 years. And I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. I wanted to play football when I got out of HC, which I did.  For 2 ½ years I played professionally with the USFL (a league that’s not around anymore). I spent a little bit of time with the Patriots on injured reserve. So, I knew I wanted to get involved in the business world at some point, but I wasn’t sure exactly where.  And I had my insurance licenses, and I decided that while I was playing, I would get into this business on a part-time basis in the off-season, which I did in 1983. It’s been continuous since then. With an economics background, I knew I wanted to be in business for myself at some point, so this opportunity gave me the chance to build a business from the ground up and join a firm that had already been in existence, and then have built that for the past 35 years. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews John Andreoli ’82”

Join the WIB Network!

The annual fall Women in Business Conference comes but once a year, but the student committee would argue differently. With conference planning that takes a full year, and various student events each semester, the student committee has a new goal: Create a network of women in business.

Kate Beckerman ’20 decided after the 2017 conference to create the Women in Business newsletter, Purple Pulse, with the first edition sent out mid-April 2018. She explains “I saw how special of a community we had at the conference and I wanted to have a way to keep us connected and inspired throughout the year.” She went on to say the name “Purple Pulse” was inspired by the phrase “Bleed Purple” which speaks to how passionate  students and alumnae are about HC. “Pulse” refers to our strong network and the burst of empowerment we receive at each conference. Beckerman hopes this newsletter will help to strengthen this amazing community year round.

>> Join the Community! Register for the next installment of the Purple Pulse newsletter to see student and alumnae highlights, conference announcements, upcoming events, career tips and year-round inspiration!

 


2018 Women in Business Student Committee


Meet your 2018 Women in Business Student Committee! 

Top Left to Bottom Right: Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21, Kate Beckerman ’20, Casey Carty ’18, Rosangel Cruz Cabrera ’18, Grace Ingram ’21, Clare O’Leary ’19, Sarah Anderson ’20, Margaret Anderson ’21

Not Pictured: & Mary McGregor ’19 and Delaney Wells ’20

 

NEW Entrepreneur-in-Residence at HC!

Ja-Naé Duane 
Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Lecturer
Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies
College of the Holy Cross
Stein 129C
508-793-3692
jduane@holycross.edu

For over 20 years, Ja-Naé Duane focused on one mission: make life better for as many people as possible. This award-winning innovator has done that by focusing on revolutionary ideas and develop programs that impact our world. Currently the co-founder of The Revolution Factory, a global network that enables innovation ecosystems in corporations, governments, and universities.

The author of the bestseller, “The Startup Equation” and “How to Start Your Business with $100” Ja-Naé excels at advising startups because she understands from personal experience what it means to be a social entrepreneur. Over the years, her work has caught the attention of The Associated Press, NPR, Classical Singer Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Business Week.

Ja-Nae is an angel investor and advisor in a number of startups including Singularity University. She is excited to be joining the COES team here at College of the Holy Cross.

Linkedin Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/janaeduane

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