Tag Archives: skippit

2018 i.Invest National Youth Business Competition Winners Announced

 

Pulse Team
i.Invest 2018 Youth Business of the Year – Pulse Wearables  Co-Founders: Anna Pertl – Munich, Germany; Richa Krishna – Los Altos, CA; and William Barkoff – New York, NY.

Today PR Solutions LLC announced the winners of the third annual i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Four teams consisting of youth entrepreneurs, 13 to 19 years-old from across the U.S. have been selected to receive cash and in-kind prizes after successfully completing a six-month web-based mentoring program and competition that included three rounds of scoring led by business and academic leaders from organizations, including: Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Alerion Ventures, and Urban League of New Orleans. In addition, teams were required to complete group coaching, one-on-one mentoring, and a virtual finale pitch event. Winners were selected based on each team’s ability to develop a scalable business model using the guidance and recommendations of experienced industry leaders.

This year’s winners are:

  • First Place – Pulse Wearables. Developed by Richa Krishna, 17, of Los Altos, CA, William Barkoff, 16, of New York, NY and Anna Pertl, 17, of Munich, Germany, the Pulse Wearables’ medical device allows people limited by heart conditions to monitor their heart rate levels using a non-invasive patch that is easy to use, inconspicuous, and does not require any companion devices to operate. Prize: $2,000, title of i.Invest 2018 Youth Business of the Year, and a one-hour consulting session with Don Morrison, serial entrepreneur and chairman of deal flow at BlueTree Allied Angels and former President and CEO of American Eagle Outfitters.
  • Second Place – Skippit. Created by 19-year-old Brown University student, Winnie McCabe and Babson College student, Marc Baghadjian, Skippit is an iOS voice and video speed-dating platform designed to redefine online dating for people ages 19-28 who are interested in building intimate connections. Prize: $1,000 and a one-hour consulting session with Don Morrison.
  • Third Place – Trofi. Navami Jain, 17, Megan Wu, 17, Michelle Bao, 17, and Vincent Xia, 18, of Durham, NC are the creators of the Trofi online platform that enables suppliers of food by-products, such as fruit and vegetable pulp and spent grain, to connect and sell their “waste” products to livestock farmers who can then incorporate these nutrient-rich products into livestock feed as dietary supplements. Prize: $500.
  • Community Investment Award – Pumpkins Helping People. Gabriella Howard, 15, Alexandrea Howard, 13, and their younger brother, Sam, all from Canal Winchester, OH are the founders of Pumpkins Helping People (PHP), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to fight hunger through the sale and distribution of pumpkins. Prize: $250.

In addition, all the winners will receive a one-hour consultation with PR Solutions LLC, a strategic marketing and public relations firm and the founder of the i.Invest Competition; the opportunity to be a vendor and/or speaker during the #EYECON Youth Conference in May 2019 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD; and the chance to participate in a “Ask the Start-Up Attorney” no-fee virtual consulting session with Cherin Law Firm located in Pittsburgh, PA.

“The i.Invest competition was a wonderful experience,” said Pulse Wearables co-founder, Krishna. “We loved the mentorship we received from several business leaders both through one-on-one and group sessions. It helped us identify what is truly essential in building our business and focusing on our goals. I also appreciate how well i.Invest was organized and how smooth it was for young entrepreneurs from all over the country to participate. I would love to thank everyone who was part of i.Invest for providing a supportive environment for young entrepreneurs like myself to try without fear of failure.”

To learn more about each team, visit the i.Invest blog.

The 2019 competition will start accepting applications on March 1st. Applicants must be between the ages of 13-19 and have a demonstrable product or service to compete. The application fee is $29. To receive event updates, sponsorship information and to view the list of mentors and judges visit, the i.Invest website or contact Michelle Jackson at mjackson@i-investcompetition.com.

About PR Solutions LLC

PR Solutions LLC is a strategic marketing and corporate event planning firm that specialize in working with new and established ventures to build viable business models and to integrate innovative marketing tools into for-profit and nonprofit business strategies. PR Solutions is the parent company of the i.Invest competition. i.Invest is a grassroots effort that receives funding and support from donations to LifeSkills Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, and the entrepreneurial community. The program’s 2018 principal sponsor was Premier Pediatrics of Houston. To learn more, visit www.prsllc.org.

19-Year-Old Co-founders Redefine Online Dating with Skippit, a Voice/Video Dating Platform

MarcWinnie
Winnie McCabe & Marc Baghadjian, Co-founders of Skippit

Brown University student, Winnie McCabe and Babson College student, Marc Baghadjian, both 19, are one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Their startup, Skippit, is a dating platform that uses video and voice, and a slew of other features, to build intimate connections.

McCabe spoke with us about the business venture:

Tell us about your business.

Skippit is an iOS voice/video calling speed-dating platform for users ages 19-28 looking for an interactive experience that addresses the many shortfalls plaguing the incumbents in the online dating sector. Once two users match on Skippit, they have the option to spontaneously call or schedule a five-minute voice or video call with each other. If the call is successful, Skippit will suggest fun activities for their date based on their shared interests, then offer them insider deals on these activities for the date.

What inspired the creation of Skippit?

Marc and I both have had unsuccessful experiences using dating apps and are looking to solve a problem we have had firsthand. We were tired of the apps in the market and found that applications were built around prolonging the match process. We decided to reinvent the business model and build a dating application that condensed the match process. At first glance, one might not understand why the incumbents prolong the matching process but after evaluating their business models – which are contingent on users buying more swipes and using their dating applications for a long period of time – Marc and I decided to monetize in-person date interactions differently. We knew we had something special when we received positive feedback from polling users and individuals on our hypotheses.

How will Skippit impact the world?

Skippit facilitates introductions with individuals who would have never previously met. It assists in the match and meeting process, funneling people to do community gathering experiences through our integrated service providers. Skippit will enrich the communities on and between college campuses by offering individuals a way to streamline the first date process.

What are the next steps for Skippit?

Currently, we are looking to raise $150,000. We will use the funds to cover marketing costs, host the API’s to build the platform, contract developers and cover legal fees. Skippit’s target market is concentrated urban areas with large universities and business. We plan to start on the East Coast in the Boston area and reach an audience around the following schools: Harvard, MIT, Babson College, Wellesley College, Northeastern, Boston University, and Boston College.

To learn more about Skippit visit, www.skippitapp.com or follow them on social media: Twitter: www.twitter.com/skippit_app; Instagram: www.instagram.com/skippitapp/or Facebook: www.facebook.com/skippitapp. To mentor or provide support, email info@i-investcompetition.com.