January 2022 – Eleven students in Drew University’s entrepreneurship class spent the fall 2021 semester developing a startup idea and accompanying pitch deck.
To inform the many facets of their business ideas, students learned about key startup concepts such as product-market fit, Level 5 Leadership, total addressable market, go-to-market strategies, and Lean Canvas. They also read Peter Thiel’s bestselling book, Zero to One, and tackled case studies on Tesla, Lululemon Athletica, Airbnb, Etsy, Uber, Rent the Runway, and WeWork.
Some students created a fourth sector business—“for-benefit” enterprises that leverage the private sector to solve public sector issues. Others were inspired by their personal experiences both in the U.S. and abroad.
Here are a few of the startup ideas:
Nicholas D’Eufemia C’22
Major: Media & Communications
Project: Find a Guide
Nick is a passionate angler who has been on dozens of guided fishing trips all over the world. He developed a business concept, Find a Guide, complete with a website and mobile app. Find a Guide connects experienced anglers dedicated to the sport of fishing with anglers looking to venture into new geographical areas. When traveling to fish, anglers often don’t know where or when to go, what equipment to use, or what has worked best for other fishers. Local, experienced guides can help. Find a Guide also provides a means for experienced anglers to profit from their knowledge without having to build and promote entire businesses. As part of his market validation research, Nick reached out to world-renowned angler Patrick Sébile to consult. He also considered the rise in popularity of fishing during COVID-19, including a 10 percent increase in the number of women anglers. A fourth sector, or for-benefit, business, Find a Guide will encourage and support catch-and-release practices as part of its corporate mission.
Talha Ahsan Siddiqui C’21, G’24
Project: e-Bkye Jadea JV – The Mobility Revolution for Pakistan and Indonesia
As someone who has experienced the noisy, choked, emission-filled roads of Karachi and Jakarta first-hand, Talha developed his business idea around green mobility. His company, e-Byke Jadea JV, would bring affordable, electric motorbikes to the cities of Asia by first establishing a foothold in Pakistan and Indonesia. For his electric motorbike, he chose the Yadea JV, a recognized brand that currently maintains a 98 percent market share in China. His go-to-market plan includes manufacturing the bikes locally in Pakistan and Indonesia to keep costs down. E-byke’s extensive green mobility ecosystem would include bike rentals, battery charging and swapping stations, and a network of franchise dealers. After growing the initial dealer network, Talha would scale e-Byke Jadea JV into other Asian markets.
Sungoh Park C’22
Project: All About Style
Sungoh developed a business concept around a mobile app, All About Style, a peer-to-peer community network that connects hairstylists and customers with features that go far beyond booking hair appointments. The app was inspired, in part, by the experience of one of Sungoh’s friends who struggled to convey how he wanted his hair cut to a stylist. In his pitch to the class, Sungoh referenced that KaKao Hair Shop, a popular app for hair booking appointments used in South Korea, is not available to smaller hair salons, which presents an opportunity for All About Style. Not only would All About Style show trending hairstyles from around the world, it would maintain detailed bios about the stylists so consumers can easily find a qualified, local stylist for the exact haircut they have in mind. The app would encourage community and dialogue between members. As part of its social mission, All About Style would offer free haircuts for underserved populations as well as provide free trainings for up-and-coming hairstylists.
Deyna N. Cubillos Rozo
Au Pair Program
Project: Mkt Easy
Deyna decided to tackle an important issue in Latin America, primarily the limited availability of resources for social projects desperately needed by underserved populations. Deyna’s organization, Mkt Easy, would develop and manage a new crowdfunding platform to circumvent the traditional funding processes often bogged down in bureaucracy and corruption. Her peer-to-peer platform would match donors with organizations seeking to improve social conditions in local Latin American communities by leveraging educational programming. Starting in her home country of Colombia, Deyna’s organization would market the platform using advertisements on local television, radio, and newspapers and try to attract interested parties. Once established in Colombia, Mkt Easy would move into Mexico and eventually the U.S.
Brianna Santiago C’22
Major: Psychology, Business
Project: Fly Kicks
Brianna spent last summer working in a sneaker store fielding questions from customers. The frustration she witnessed when customers could not adequately describe the sneakers they were looking for served as the inspiration for Brianna’s company, Fly Kicks. A photo app designed to help consumers easily identify sneakers they might have seen around town, Fly Kicks would determine the exact sneaker brand and model from a photo. The app would locate the sneaker online for the user, provide the price, and available sizes by location. As part of its mission, Fly Kicks would donate one pair of sneakers for every 100 pairs purchased on the app, and the company would also support The Finish Line Youth Foundation Special Olympics. Brianna envisions Fly Kicks as having a customer service team to answer questions about sneakers and would eventually like to expand the app to other types of footwear including boots, heels, and sandals.
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