By: Lexie Newhouse
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) hosted their annual Atlanta Competition for the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) at Georgia State’s Buckhead campus this past Friday. Five Georgia State students pitched their businesses for a chance to compete at the U.S. National Competition in Silicon Valley, CA next February.
Pitches were evaluated by a panel of six accomplished judges including:
Stacey Scott, Founder of Elgia
Though founding Elgia in 2001, Scott has been an entrepreneur since the age of 17. She was the first minority woman to graduate from the Computer Science Engineering program at UCLA.
J. Cornelius, Founder and President of Nine Labs
Nine Labs is a digital product strategy, design, and experience consultancy located in Atlanta and New York City. In addition to his role at Nine Labs, Cornelius also speaks at conferences, leads workshops and serves on the advisory board of multiple venture capital groups, accelerator programs and private companies.
Samir Patel, Managing Partner of Trophy Point Investment Group
Patel is a military veteran and has experience owning and running multiple businesses to include a multi-million-dollar lending firm and a logistics business. He also is an avid real estate investor.
Michelle Falconer, Owner of Bailey and Hunter, LLC
At age 19, Falconer bought her first home, and by age 21, she owned two investment properties. After finishing college, Falconer spent the next 20 years building companies in real estate, property management, ice cream and the beauty industry, closing over $300 million in sales.
David Feldman, Founder of 3 Owl
Feldman founded 3 Owl, a branding, web, and content agency. He has dedicated himself to supporting and enriching Atlanta’s booming creative community.
Paul Lopez, Co-Founder and Partner of 11-11 Ventures
Through 11-11 Ventures, Lopez invests in early stage technology companies. He is also President of TiE Atlanta, a non-profit organization that fosters entrepreneurship globally through networking, education, mentoring, and investing.
Students drew numbers randomly to determine the order for pitching.
First to pitch was James Chidi Okolo, Entrepreneurship Major and Co-Founder of nSpire. “Dreaming isn’t enough. You have to take action, and action has to have a purpose,” said Okolo. To inspire and incentivize dreamers to take action, Okolo shared nSpire’s efforts to provide organization tools for social accountability.
Lexie Newhouse, a Media Entrepreneurship student, followed with her pitch for papAR. Through this augmented reality platform, she is looking to target students transitioning from picture books to picture-free novels. “The biggest challenge is convincing people this is the future of reading,” said Newhouse on the implementation of this new immersive technology.
Pivoting from his initial concept with Soundcollide, Robert Hatcher pitched Aurgin – a platform focused on protecting music artists and their intellectual property through blockchain technologies. “Entrepreneurship can be a vehicle to drive you out of any situation,” said Hatcher when sharing about his upbringing in an entrepreneurial family. Hatcher is currently pursing his MBA with a concentration in analytics.
Dia Davis pitched DelivHer Femcare, a personalized subscription service for feminine care products committed to “taking the stress out of PMS.” Whereas 50 million women menstruate each year, DelivHer has also developed a patented absorbent menstrual cup to address this massive market.
Last to pitch was Malik Jones, founder of Solidity. Solidity is a platform to assist enterprises with the development and growth of employees. “Everyone possesses energy,” explained Jones, noting the importance of analytics in recognizing opportunities for growth. He currently is piloting the platform with Delta, which has 300 test users.
After much deliberation, the judges came to a consensus for this year’s Atlanta competition. Robert Hatcher took home first place with $2,500 and will advance to the U.S. National Competition, where the winner will continue on to the Global Finals being hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. Dia Davis secured second place with a $1,000 prize. Lexie Newhouse came in third with a $500 award.
Congratulations again to all the Georgia State student-preneurs that participated. To learn more about future opportunities and connect with EO Atlanta, visit https://www.eonetwork.org/atlanta.