Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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March 07, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News 2 | University of Utah start-up launches products in 507 Target stores

The Harvard Institute of Politics’ Student Advisory Committee unanimously voted to pilot a new program in fall 2024 designed to fund and mentor social impact start-ups led by undergraduates.

From the University of Utah:

A start-up powered by a student at the University is launching eight hair shampoos and conditioners in 507 Target stores and the Target website as of last week.

SadieB Personal Care was co-founded by Sadie Bowler who is pursuing a marketing degree at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. She began working on SadieB with her sister Abby when she was a junior in high school when her passion for hair merged with a growing consciousness of the damage being done by the messaging in the beauty industry.

During her freshman year of college, she launched the company with 16 products – including shampoos, conditioners, body washes and body sprays – with support from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a top-10-ranked entrepreneurship program at the University of Utah.

Learn more about her entrepreneurial journey here.

From the University of Texas at El Paso:

Arat Fraga, a 23-year-old senior in management in the Woody L. Hunt College of Business at The University of Texas at El Paso, has emerged as one of four national winners of the latest Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition. His concept, known as Health Tag, is a rapid test kit to measure fabric toxicity and secured him the top spot in the “Consumer Products and Services Track” category.

Fraga’s motivation behind Health Tag stems from his desire to protect infants and newborns from harmful chemicals found in clothing and linens. By providing parents with a tool to assess the toxicity of fabrics, Health Tag aims to enhance children’s health and safety. As a national winner, Fraga has been awarded $10,000 to further develop his innovative idea.

The Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition serves as a platform for students with early-stage ideas to showcase their entrepreneurial skills and compete for various prizes, including cash and additional support. The nationwide competition also fosters innovation skills such as growth mindset, creativity, critical thinking and leadership.

From the University of South Florida:

Three start-up companies have recently received Foundation Bull Ring Accelerator Grants (BRAG), funded jointly by the University of South Florida (USF) Foundation and the USF Research Foundation,. Those receiving the $25,000 awards are iNur Technologies, Climate Correct Engineers and AAPEP Pharmaceuticals.

BRAG is designed to support early stage Tampa Bay Technology Incubator-affiliated start‐up companies that were formed based on technologies licensed from USF. The grants support the entrepreneurial ecosystem at USF and help start-ups bridge the “valley of death” – the period between when the availability of academic research funding runs out and when a team is credible enough (with enough customer and market knowledge) to raise private capital or license and partner with existing companies.

From Miami University:

The Farmer School of Business’ (FSB) Passport Program has been recognized with a “2024 Inspiring Programs in Business Award” from Insight into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The “Inspiring Programs in Business Award” honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the field of business.

Created in 2019, the FSB Passport Program is a comprehensive four-year high-touch student success initiative for students that starts before their first year at Miami University, targeting talented students who have strong academic credentials and have an interest in studying business.

The program’s goal is to teach valuable skills related to transitioning to college, personal development, time management, study skills, degree planning, internships, and career development for greater employment opportunities after graduating from Miami.

From the University of Iowa:

The Iowa Board of Regents approved the University of Iowa’s request to create a Bachelor’s degree of Administration in Entrepreneurship at the Tippie College of Business. The new major, which will include the addition of three newly required courses and electives, will be offered through Tippie’s management and entrepreneurial department and enhance the college’s existing entrepreneurship programs. The new courses target areas such as technology innovation, entrepreneurial finance, and leadership. The new major begins this fall.

From Harvard University:

The Harvard Institute of Politics’ Student Advisory Committee unanimously voted to pilot a new program in fall 2024 designed to fund and mentor social impact start-ups led by undergraduates. The program — titled the IOP Governance Lab — will provide training for 10 Harvard-based ventures in various stages of development and will culminate in a final pitch competition with a $1,500 winning prize.

The IOP, which is the largest student-run organization at Harvard College with over 900 members, now boasts 16 programs with the addition of GovLab. The new program is the second start-up incubator the IOP has offered to date. In 2011, the group launched Gov 2.0 which gave $5,000 stipends to students who were creating projects in the realms of politics and government.

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