The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Unveils ‘13 Machine’

Colgate University

The Colgate University Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (E&I) unveiled a new addition to campus, dubbed the “13 Machine.” Modeled as a food truck, the 13 Machine is a vehicle intended to be used as a mobile pop-up shop for student-led businesses, dining services, campus offices and student groups. Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Carolyn Strobel-Larsen described its purpose and how the idea came about.

“The purpose of the vehicle is very multifaceted,” Strobel-Larsen said. “It originally started out as a way to provide student food businesses with a location to sell out of on campus. But since that initial idea, the vehicle has really morphed into a much bigger concept, and that is to provide novelty and excitement to any campus experience. So the vehicle can be reserved by student businesses that want to sell their food. It can be reserved by any campus office or department who wants to have it at their event. And, when it’s there, they can use it for anything. They can get food out of it, they can give swag out of it, they can really use it in any capacity they would like.”

The vehicle was first acquired during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve coffee to students and went through a transformation when the Office of E&I came up with the idea. Colgate’s Art Director Bernie Freytag helped design the vehicle.

“Carolyn Strobel-Larsen contacted us with the idea of rebranding a truck they had acquired a few years ago,” Freytag said. “All of us in the art department and in the Communications Department were eager to be part of the project. There’s real excitement involved when presented with a blank campus like that truck, and we couldn’t wait to get started.”

Freytag also described the intentions behind the specific design.

“Our goal in designing the truck was to bring excitement and novelty to all parts of campus, while including the energy that makes us uniquely Colgate. If you look closely at the illustration, you will see many different parts of Colgate within it, from noticeable buildings, the rolling hills of the area, and even Emrys,” Freytag said. “The design process lasted approximately three months, beginning with digital sketches that were then superimposed onto a virtual image of the truck. In the weeks that followed, we produced multiple iterations to refine the look. Elements were moved, colors shifted and there was a fair amount of configuring until we knew it was right. The final design is then installed by an external vendor.”

The vehicle was unveiled over Homecoming Weekend, when it was used by a student-led business called Cha’Gate.

“We chose this specific event because it was a way to introduce the 13 Machine to both the campus community as well as the alumni community,” Strobel-Larsen said. “And we wanted to be able to have the biggest impact that we could have. We had the vehicle there. And for this, we actually commissioned Cha’Gate, which is a bubble tea company run by students here on campus, to serve bubble tea out of it.”

Cha’Gate is a bubble tea business that aims to bring Asian culture to Colgate’s campus. Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Cha’Gate and sophomore Bill Luo described the experience of using the 13 Machine. 

“[Strobel-Larsen], the Director of E&I and Co-Director of Ciccone Commons, first mentioned the 13 Machine to us as an option for us to do an event,” Luo said. “We felt that Homecoming [Weekend] was going to be a wonderful place to serve bubble tea and expand our customer base, so we accepted and sold our full menu during that day. Needless to say, we sold out and it was a rewarding experience.”

Luo emphasized his excitement for the future of the 13 Machine, which Stable-Larsen noted will benefit students and businesses alike.

“The 13 Machine, I think, has the ability to really bring excitement to any event, to offer something different to pique the interests of students and campus constituents and to provide another way for any group to really reach their campus audience,” Strobel-Larsen said.

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About the Contributor
Ellie Weber
Ellie Weber, News Editor
Ellie Weber is a junior from New York, NY concentrating in political science. She has previously served as a staff writer for the News section. On campus, Ellie is involved in the Comedy Sketch Club.

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