FOLLOW THE TEAMS: EPISODE 1

EPISODE 1:

It’s the end of week eight and things are heating up in the Zuventurez workshops. As participants continue to be educated in entrepreneurship, the product and business idea become increasingly creative. With pitches becoming more refined and participants becoming more confident, the question on everyone’s mind is: “WHO has the $15,000 idea?”


Throughout the weeks, I’ve spoken to many of the participating teams and got to interview a few of them to find out more about what they’re working on. The interviews you’re about to read were made possible with the help of Monte Thigpen, Caroline Bingham, and Cali Watson. Enjoy.


MONTE THIGPEN: MONTE PREDICTS THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING


What is the name of your business and why do you want to start it?

“I don't yet. I have a name for my venture, but recently my wife was having some struggles with a few classes and she wanted to reach other to just her college friends for help.

Well, on Facebook she can't just make a post because people who aren't in the APU network might see it and spam her with irrelevant solutions. And even though she posts into an APU group she may not really want anyone to see it. Twitter is an even worse experience for reaching out to closed networks. And that's why I want to build this new social networking platform. The strength of ‘old school’ Facebook was that it was closed to just your schools Intra-network. It allowed you to be who you were on campus, virtually, without any of the outside noise from moms, uncles, creepers or trolls. I believe that the future of social networking on colleges campuses comes from learning from the past and doing it better.”

Why did you join Zuventurez?

“I joined Zuventurez to prune my skills in customer development but also to find other teammates that help build upon each others.”

What are you looking forward to?

“I'm really looking forward to all the great ideas. As Zuventurez has grown over the years in undergrad, alumni, and donors, the ideas just get larger and larger. We've had winners from selling half-ass sheep sculptures to manufacturing headphones for consumers and brands.”

What are you working on right now in regards to your business?

“Right now, I'm working on customer discovery. There are so many social networking apps out there already and several come and go in the snap of a finger, so making sure I'm building something customers want is very imperative.”


CAROLINE BINGHAM: SWEEET CAROLINE REVEALS HER PLAN TO CREATE “HEALTHY” CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS


What is the name of your business and why do you want to start it?

“The name of my business is Herban MVMT. Here’s the backstory of why I started it…I ran track competitively year-round for eight years and I was always super conscious of the foods I would put in my body because I knew that what I ate would have a direct impact on my performance—whether positive or negative. When I would go to the grocery store to meal prep, I saw a huge problem. The problem being that nearly 90% of the food products on grocery store shelves are filled with sugar and preservatives! Even the “healthy” foods had sugar—dried fruit, yogurt, protein bars, you name it. I also have a terrible sweet tooth, so I knew that if I ever wanted to satisfy that sweet tooth guilt-free, I’d have to create it myself! That’s what let me to create the Herban MVMT platform. We advocate a chocolate that not only cures your sweet tooth, but your ailments as well; whether it be a hangover, stress and anxiety, low energy levels, etc. By crafting all-natural, sugar-free, herb-infused chocolate, we go to the root of your problem (literally) by utilizing ingredients straight from the root!”


Why did you join Zuventurez?

“I joined Zuventurez to make Herban MVMT come to life! The concept of my company was born in June, and since then I’ve had ideas on ideas on ideas and I had no idea where to start! Zuventurez is giving me the tools and resources necessary to dive right into launching my business and making my ideas become a reality.”

What are you looking forward to?

“Honestly, I am looking forward to every action that needs to be taken every step of the way. I’ve already had such a rewarding experience, and it’s only week three! The people I’ve met have helped tremendously, and it’s so fun adding members to my team and seeing them light up about the Herban MVMT just like I do :’)”

What are you working on right now in regards to your business?

“Right now, I am working on the launch of The Hangover Cure by Herban MVMT. This chocolate bar will be the first that I launch, so I am working on the perfecting the recipe and the packaging design for it right now. Alongside that, I am also working on creating the blog that will be associated with my brand. This blog will educate people on the nourishing benefits of chocolate and herbs, and give recipes on how one can (& should!) incorporate chocolate into their daily lifestyle. Basically, I’m wanting to rebrand chocolate to be healthy and herbs to not be witchcraft haha.”


CALI WATSON: HELLO HEALTHY! CALI UNVEILS A BUSINESS PLAN THAT COULD CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE SEE PLANT BASED FOODS


What is the name of your business and why have you started it?

"My company is named Hello Healthy and it is a plant based kitchen for college students, working professionals and families. The motto is ‘healthy food that tastes good.’ We don't have to take the pleasure and flavor out of our foods for them to be beneficial. Hello Healthy's ingredients are all placed in their recipes with the intention that each item contributes a beneficial contribution to the consumer. The items are affordable, delicious and easily provided to fit in with the busy schedules of our consumers.”


Why did you join Zuventurez?

“I met a lot of super inspiring and supportive people in Zuventurez. Shayanne Wright CEO of Left was a very motivational participant that really inspired me to commit to zuventures. After being in the entrepreneurship community at APU, I realized it is an unbelievably fruitful experience. To be surrounded by young and talented individuals with the mind, spirit and courage to enter the realm of entrepreneurship with the guidance and support of mentors and industry professionals.”


What are you looking forward to?

“I am looking forward to the workshop time that we have! It is a new feature of the program this year and the Zuventurez team has reserved the coworking spaces down the street, I can't wait to speak with fellow students and mentors about building my pitch and honing my brand into a specific idea that communicates a specific message.”


What are you working on right now in regards to your business?

“I am currently perfecting the business model for my company as far as the specifics of what model will perform best for a plant based food company in LA.”


-Haley Scott