b'ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATIONEmpowering Student Entrepreneurs:much water you drink throughouttheday,Student ProfileTHEexplained Jameson. ItBLAKE BROWN allows users to track their data via a turbine ENTREPRENEURSHIPinthecasing,whichBlake Brown was thirsty. A water bottle at Navy spins every time theyPier cost $5. At a convenience store a few blocks take a sip. That data isaway, his dad, Tim Brown, BGS 87, bought the ALLIANCE then stored and sentsame bottle for $1. That day, Blake became an viaBluetoothtoourentrepreneur: He spent the summer selling mobileapplication,marked-up water bottles in front of his dads ACCELERATOR whereuserscaninsurance agency in Oak Park, Illinois. With his monitor their data andearnings, he bought sneakers.water consumption.Today, the senior runs BTB Kicks, a shoe resto-First-yearbusinessration business he started in 2019. I never liked student Melanie Garciahaving dirty shoes, says Brown, who owns more foundedChurrostothan 30 pairs of stylish footwear. Being a sneak-bringnewflavorstoerhead, you have to keep your shoes clean. ColumbiasdessertBTB Kicks used to be just a side hustle, but it is scene! My venture is to sell churros, coffee, and churros sundaes. I want tonow becoming a reality thanks to Blakes ability start this business because there arent many dessert options besides ice creamand dedication. In March, Blake took 2nd place in or cookies in Columbia. I want to bring something from a different culture andMizzous Entrepreneur Quest (EQ), and with that Jameson Fitzgeraldunique.Churros was awarded $1750 to purchase a Churro maker, supplies, andmoney, he is opening a storefront in Chicago. Blake pitching his product FLOZmarket their delicious product.is setting up the storefront this summer after grad-to potential investors at theIndependUS Cooperative was founded by Blaise Ebisch, a junior in Economics,uating and looking to open for business in the Fall.April 2023 pitch event.and three other students (Josh Robinson, Compsci May 2024; Sean Newell, Compsci Fall 2023; Chloe Jones, Compsci MA Spring 2023). IndependUS is a worker co-op with the mission of building transparent and informative software, explained Blaise. The app were building now is a plat-form to verify community-based data and deliberation. We hope to make a place The Entrepreneurship Alliance Accelerator (EAA)where users can understand their communities and others more effectively.is the Center for Entrepreneurship and InnovationsWhile my core goal is finding ways to facilitate online democracy, this venture flagship business accelerator that provides aspiringhas also allowed us to gain hands-on experience with software develop-student entrepreneurs with the tools, mentorship,ment, project management, and organization development. Blaise and and knowledge needed to turn their business ideashis co-founders were awarded $4500 to get their minimum viable product into reality.(MVP) released. The first implementation of our platform is launching free-of-In the spring of 2023, the EAA was rebooted post- charge in Boone County I am so proudcovid in a new 8-week format featuring weeklyallowed students to showcase their entrepreneuriallater this year, so Im of all theevening work sessions, guidance from experiencedvision and secure seed funding for their ventures.super excited to finally Seed funding can be a critical catalyst for turningshare it with the local students whomentors, and the opportunity to pitch for seedideas into tangible products. Through generous gifts participated thisfunding. The work sessions fostered collaborationfrom the Steen family, the Eisenhart family, Davidcommunity.allowing student founders to share insights, gainThesestudentsare year and cantfeedback, and network with each other. In addition,Spence, and Greg and Elizabeth Maday, the Centerbrilliant with great ideas for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was able to wait to see each student venture was paired with experiencedaward over $30,000 to these student ventures.andgreatpeopleto what they willmentors who offered guidance, industry expertise,work with. I am so proud and personalized support throughout the program.FLOZ was founded by senior Jameson Fitzgeraldof all the students who do next, These mentors, successful entrepreneurs or busi- (finance and banking, minor in economics; 23)participated this yearJ. Scott ness professionals, brought real-world insights toand his brother John Fitzgerald (Trulaske Grad- and cant wait to see the students challenges and helped students onuate, BSBA, Finance and Banking,2020)) and waswhat they will do next, Christianson,their entrepreneurial journey. awarded $6500 to develop their first product, scalesaid CEI Director J Scott CEI Director In this years cohort, fourteen student foundersoperations, and attract further investment. Christianson, who orga-completed the program and pitched their businessWearecreatingahardwaredevicecallednized and managed the ideas to a panel of investors, industry experts, andFLOZ that press fits into the bottom of a strawaccelerator.potential partners on April 14th. The pitch programwater bottle lid so you can effortlessly track how 6 MANAGEMENT MATTERSMANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT 2023 ANNUAL REPORT 7'