Six student businesses were awarded funding at the Ithaca College Business Plan Demo Day, an event hosted by Rev: Ithaca Startup Works on April 18 where students from the college pitched business plans.
The panel of judges allocated $18,000 to the student businesses: Crowns & Contours, a hair and skin care startup; MycoCeiling, a startup specializing in ceiling tiles that are more environmentally friendly and can biodegrade at a faster rate than current mainstream ceiling tiles; BranMei, a brand merchandising service for social media celebrities; Shop Sarauniya, a fashion label that uses Ankara prints; StopPack, a startup that created a device that connects to an app that helps individuals track their smoking habits to help them quit; and UniSpec, a company that assists high school students pursue higher education by connecting them with college students.
Sean Reid, dean of the School of Business, said funding for the event came from the IC Annual Fund for Business and the dean’s discretionary account. A change to this year’s competition is that instead of its being a set amount of money that each team is competing to win, teams now present plans with a set amount of money they ask for, Reid said. This allows for multiple teams to win funding.
“This process creates much more accountability that the funds are being spent to advance the entrepreneurs’ business and not spent solely at the discretion of the ‘winner,’” Reid said. “The new format has completely changed the energy of the competitions in a positive way.”
The startup Shop Sarauniya was founded by senior Hadiza Kassim and won the Audience Choice Award and Sustainability Award. MycoCeiling, which was founded by senior Cory Kimmell and junior Meagan Priest, also won the Sustainability Award.
Shop Sarauniya and Crowns & Contours each won $4,750, and MycoCeiling won $4,500. BranMei, StopPack and UniSpec each won a total of $1,000.
Senior Alex Horner, one of the students behind StopPack, said the group plans to invest its money into more prototyping and app development so it can start accumulating test data.
“Once we get a nice-looking product, then we will be able to start testing it, and then when we get the result from the tests, if it looks good, we can pitch it to investors,” Horner said.