Over the last eight weeks, 25+ GVL Starts entrepreneurs have worked towards their final class and presentation — Demo Day — on Thursday, Oct. 19. Five finalists pitched to local investors and an audience for a chance to win a $5,000 grant for their startup venture.
What is GVL Starts?
A program at Furman University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with local organizations like City of Greenville, Greenville Local Development Corporation + the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
GVL Starts teaches entrepreneurs the skills needed to build a successful startup, connects budding entrepreneurs and business owners with like-minded community members, thinkers and leaders + helps turn ideas into action.
This year’s finalists featured a range of products and services, from software technology to canned cocktails.
Here are the finalists:
- Dr. Natalie Morse | Fearless Grad | This company helps college graduates get their PhD’s fully funded.
- Dallas Freeman | Sparker | Sparker is an app that aims to eliminate small talk by connecting with your friends and comparing your interests.
- Babette Jones | Six/Nineteen | These pre-canned cocktails help bring people together and gives back to the community.
- Jennifer Oladipo | Stank Radio | With this platform, musicians have the support to turn their passion into a business.
- Joe Whelchel | Hire Warriors | Think of Angie’s List, but everyone is an active-duty or retired veteran or first responder.
Drum roll, please — and the winners are:
- Dr. Natalie Morse | Fearless Grad
- Babette Jones | Six/Nineteen