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

Students, Alumni Demonstrate Creativity, Drive at Thought Into Action Showcase

Colgate University held its annual Thought Into Action Showcase on Saturday, April 6. Run by Colgate’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Department in coordination with other university departments, the event gave students and alumni an opportunity to present the entrepreneurial endeavors that they have developed through Colgate’s Thought Into Action (TIA) program. The event began with the opportunity for attendees to visit the stations of each of the different ventures; it then transitioned into a pitch competition for grants of up to $5,000. The highly-attended event finished with the announcement of the winners of the competition.

Colgate’s TIA program seeks to promote and support various student, alumni and community-led ventures. According to Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Christian Vischi, the Thought Into Action Showcase serves as the “culmination” of the entrepreneurial work that the members of TIA have put forth over the past year. He went on to explain the mechanisms of the TIA program itself.

“Thought Into Action consists of four in-person incubator sessions, [at] which we have mentors that connect to the ventures to lead them through setting up their start-up,” Vischi said. “The mentors help them cover everything from setting up a business plan [to identifying] what markets [they] should be targeting.”

Vischi also sought to highlight the rare and distinct nature of an entrepreneurship program at a liberal arts university. When engaging with the TIA program, Colgate’s entrepreneurs have chosen to direct their efforts toward socially conscious ventures.

Pair and Care, a start-up founded this winter by first-year Chayce Canty, seeks to solve the issue of insufficient access to childcare in the Hamilton community. First-year Henry Galicich, who does marketing and web design for Pair and Care, discussed the development and future prospects of the venture.

“Our big-picture goal is to end all childcare difficulties here in Hamilton,” Galicich said. “We’re starting with babysitting to try to offer some more childcare options.”

Galicich also touched on the venture’s intention of expanding into after-school events in the Fall semester before talking about Pair and Care’s experience with the TIA program, emphasizing the advantages that experienced mentors lent to start-up creation.

“The mentors we’ve had throughout this process have been incredibly helpful, especially because they’ve walked this path before,” Galicich said. “I can’t say enough good things about the TIA mentorship.”

At the showcase, Pair and Care managed to win both the event’s pitch competition and an audience-driven investment game, amassing over $5,000 in grants from the university to pursue and develop their venture.

Many of the other ventures present at the showcase demonstrated a commitment to social welfare similar to that of Pair and Care: Everlasting Technologies, founded by junior Macdonald Chirara, seeks to empower communities in Africa through affordable, sustainable energy; (Re)new Dancewear, founded by alumna Sophia Beresford ’22, is a business to introduce inclusive, injury-reducing dancewear to the market; Soil Soul, founded by sophomores Marie York and Harshitha Talasila, looks to institute large-scale composting on Colgate’s campus; and Backpacks for Kids, founded by alumnae Jillian Holliday ’23, Raina Jung ’23, Marie Goodrich ’23 and Cecilia Senyk ’23, provides backpacks with school and hygienic supplies to refugees in the Colgate area.

Talasila, co-founder of Soil Soul, cited a desire for Colgate students to increase their social awareness and play a part in Soil Soul’s goal of making Colgate more sustainable through composting.

“I hope that people will support us,” Talasila said. “It might be a bit daunting or unfamiliar at first, [but] the only way that we can make this happen is through [the community’s] support and their willingness to work with us.”

As Colgate looks to further its liberal arts mission with the Colgate Initiative for Arts, Creativity and Innovation as it develops its Middle Campus, student-led innovation and socially-conscious community engagement are precisely the activities that the University seeks to promote.

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