Student Success Businesses: 2017
Spencer Miller, Brew Runners LLC
The craft beer industry has been experiencing tremendous growth within the United States throughout the 21st century, and has become a centerpiece of American culture and individualism. With 4000 plus breweries popping up all across the country in the past decade, there is a craft beer for nearly every unique palate in this great nation! The only problem, it is terribly difficult to find some of your favorite beers if you do not live in the same region as the brewery that creates it. That is where Brew Runners comes in. Spencer Miller, Jose Moralejo, and Jack Levin founded the company in FSU’s Entrepreneurship program. Spencer Miller, our CEO, conceived the idea atop Gooch Mountain on the Appalachian Trail during a weeklong trek across the historic range. We have over 100 of America’s finest breweries on board for our customers to choose from. You choose every single beer that you want, and the best part, we deliver it right to your door! Brew Runners is set to launch in the middle of this year. If you have any questions regarding memberships or employment, you can contact us at email@example.com. Cheers!
Mitch Nelson & Jason McIntosh, DivvyUp
DivvyUp is the first one-for-one custom sock company. As sophomores in Florida State University’s entrepreneurship program, we took a trip to our local homeless shelter looking for an opportunity to help. Expecting to hear “food” or “shelter”, we were surprised to learn there was a huge need for clean socks. DivvyUp was founded in 2014 to solve this problem sustainably; with every pair of socks purchased, we gift a pair of socks to the homeless community. To date, the community has gifted over 14,000 pairs of socks across the United States.
Summer Calenberg, Drip Drop Fitness
“I have always had a passion for fitness, knowing the importance and positive influence it had on my body and mind. Working out can be such a pain. So, if you’re tired of driving to the gym just to run on the treadmill alone, taking classes that are honestly just boring, or trying to lift weights and make gains that leave you too sore, you are not alone! After spending a few months in NYC exploring different types of fitness studios, I was inspired to create a unique fitness offering in Tallahassee.”
Drip Drop Fitness exists to create a fun exercise by disguising the workout through dance, music, and an energetic atmosphere.
With 4 years of undergraduate studies here, I am confident in the culture and community and know that Tallahassee and the students of FSU need something like this!
Tallahassee is constantly growing and changing, so why should your workout routine stay the same?
Adam Serota, Heritage Apparel
Adam Serota is a nineteen-year-old entrepreneur from Weston, Florida and a sophomore at Florida State University. Adam was recently accepted into the first graduating class of the Jim Moran School and plans to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Entrepreneurship. His company, Heritage Apparel, focuses on creating unique events by offering fully-customizable design and printing solutions across a carefully selected range of products. The core of the business revolves around apparel, mainly custom shirts. However, it is the Heritage Apparel experience that captures the love and adulation of its customers. Adam spends countless hours in the InNOLEvation Center, the student business incubator on campus, tirelessly working on his craft.
The company has exceeded everyone’s expectations, including Adam’s. Heritage Apparel has quickly grown into a full-time job for Adam in just three months. Initially launched January 1, 2017, Heritage Apparel just finished their first quarter of business on pace to hit six-figure revenues by the end of the fiscal year. Adam had to rapidly expand his team to now seven other students. On top of being a full-time student and CEO of a thriving start-up, Adam is also the Vice-President of his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Indigo Hansen, Jack Shelgren, Will Jones, and Myles Blatt, Hooligans Movement, LLC
Coming out of sophomore entrepreneurship class of 2018, Indigo Hansen, Jack Shelgren, Will Jones, and Myles Blatt, embarked on a new entrepreneurial venture of creating the biggest brand that Florida State University has ever seen. The company was initially created on the idea of folding skateboards, although we discovered the high barriers to entry in that market and decided to keep the logo and start with apparel. We soon realized that we wanted to make Hooligans more than a brand – a movement, as well. We, the four founders, envisioned a company that propelled the style of living that each of us shared: an affinity for gracefully rejecting the norm and choosing to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
Sean Zargari, KONAleashes
My name is Sean Zargari; I am a junior at Florida State in the entrepreneurship major. Florida State and the teachers in this program truly make a great atmosphere to learn, grow, and experiment as an entrepreneur. My sophomore year in the program I started my company, KONAleashes. KONAleashes was a company built out of the necessity I had as a college student with a young husky. Huskies are bred to be sled dogs; they have a shocking amount of power and drive to go! Finding the right leash was tough, so I made my own. This solution I found in my KONAleash was not only useful to me, but to others, as well. After I saw there was a market, I began offering my leashes to others. Since the first sale in February 2016, I have learned how to manage growth, negotiate deals and manage others. I cannot thank the teachers, faculty, and donors enough for helping me through each step and every challenge that I have faced. This program is truly something special and I encourage anyone who is interested to check it out.
Jack Berg, Pearlescent Media
Pearlescent is a creative content machine founded and run by me, Jack Berg, (Florida State University) and Tory Powers (CU Boulder). Pearlescent has taken our hobby of photography and filmmaking and pushed it into something much more. Over the last year, we have found success by developing our own style, character, and signature behind the lens. Working alongside major companies such as Red Bull and Suzuki, as well as with musicians like The Chainsmokers and Krewella, and athletes including Ricky Carmichael, Justin Barcia, and many others has been unreal. For the future, I plan to expand into creative branding and marketing while maintaining our luxury approach to providing a complete creative experience. Standing on stage of a sold out Red Rocks Amphitheater, sliding down glaciers at 14,000 feet, playing with some of the fastest cars money can buy, swimming through coral reefs, filming on a motocross track during the worst hurricane in 10 years, and making new friends from around the world has only just kindled our fire.
Hernan Bater, Gabriel Grynsztein, PlayBall
PlayBall, created by Hernan Bater and Gabriel Grynsztein, is a mobile application that helps find and create pick-up games for students. PlayBall takes away the everyday hassle of organizing pick-up games and helping students integrate into their university via sports. Hernan and Gabriel are first-generation immigrants that met at Florida State with a deep rooted hunger for innovation and success. Hernan came up with the idea when he realized there was a struggle organizing soccer games on campus. Gabriel joined the team shortly after the inception and have since reached out to hundreds of students on campus. With the app currently under construction, a beta version of the services can be found on their website. If you can’t find Hernan or Gabriel on the IM fields, they are probably in the Innovation Center working on the app.
Chase Mayer, Pop Your Top Bottle Openers
Pop Your Top creates and sells custom themed bottle openers. The idea came about from my sisters wedding when she gave every guest a California shaped bottle opener that my soon to be brother in law created in his sheet metal shop. As soon as I saw it, I knew he was on to something… and the idea was born. I had him design me a Florida State themed bottle opener, and we have since expanded into many different designs. I teamed up with my classmate Leif Neandross, and we are in the works of manufacturing different sizes and designs, with the plan of expanding into new states and variations. People love to drink beer, so we figured why not enhance the experience with a bottle opener shaped like your home state or themed for your college team? The idea behind our company is to create memories and experiences when enjoying your favorite bottled beverage. We are also expanding towards fully customized orders so that our customers can create their own design, pick out colors, and feature unique lettering or engraving for their wedding, company, or special event. It was a challenge going from an idea to a product and then to a company, but with the help from the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship and the extremely knowledgeable professors and support staff, it made for a smooth ride.
James Stage, Queralyze
Queralyze is a supplemental education program, designed to assist students in succeeding in school, and to help teacher’s better assess student performance while addressing their specific educational needs. In the United States, state governments spend on average 3.2 billion dollars a year in college on remedial education. In 2014 I (James Stage – Florida State), Mason Roth (Florida State), and Dr. Steven Sherman (Troy University), developed a program to address the issues that have led to students needing remedial education.
We are currently in the process of partnering with State Colleges in Florida to pilot our program and start making a serious dent in this problem. The experience has been quite a rollercoaster, but until we started working with FSU and their entrepreneurial support network, we didn’t actually know what we were doing. Now, we do, and we are excited to be out on the market and making a difference.
Nick O’Donnell, Terraform Design
Nick O’Donnell is a 2015 FSU graduate living in the Sarasota area, where he runs his company Terraform Design. Having started his company while taking business classes, Nick’s work exemplifies the key parts that design and creativity play in the world of Entrepreneurship. Nick was awarded the Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award for his work this past November, and has had his geometric furniture & lighting published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Being a huge fan of the creativity process of conception to realization, his work has allowed him to gather a variety of helpful hints, tips, and advice for anyone aspiring to see an idea become reality.
Ana Sanchez, TerraVida Co.
TerraVida Co. is a cruelty-free fashion brand created and ran by me, Ana Sanchez, and my two entrepreneur partners Briana Blankhorst and Madi Grybek in Tallahassee, Florida. It was launched with the help of the Entrepreneurship Program at the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship. TerraVida was created with the idea of mixing our different personalities in order to create a boho chic jewelry collection. We thought: why not create something that would change the way animals play a role in the production of the accessories? Moreover, TerraVida is not only a fashion brand, it also promotes a pure lifestyle with a vision to promote awareness of animal cruelty through the creation of one of a kind hand-made accessories. Our brand uses vegan materials, such as Mushroom leather and faux suede, that act as a leather substitute. In the future, we plan to expand our product line with a larger variety of accessories and bags, always following the TerraVida mindset.
Thomas Goebel, Thomas Goebel Photography
The EPSON International Pano Awards showcases the work of panoramic photographers worldwide and is the largest competition for panoramic photography. This year, Thomas Goebel, entrepreneurship major, entered his photography along with 1770 other entries. He was awarded a silver award for his photograph, “Punchbowl.” This is Goebel’s first international award. The competition was judged by many photographers who inspired him to pick up a camera and are the leaders in the field of landscape photography.
“This is a photo I captured while hiking in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon with my family. It was such a mystical moment to see how the many waterfalls flow through the gorge and have shaped it over the years. I waited for the right moment when the sun glowed through the forest and really brought the scene to life,” said Thomas Goebel.
Goebel received his first national awards in the Wilderness Forever competition from the Smithsonian Museum, and his work was exhibited there for two years. To see more of Thomas’s work, visit thomasgoebelphotography.com
Evan Ernst, Who We Play For
We all have someone or something that motivates us – it’s who we play for. Who We Play For (WWPF) is a non-profit organization motivated by the young lives lost to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). By providing cardiac screening and increasing awareness, our fight is to help ensure other families, schools, and communities will never know the pain of losing a loved one to SCA. By partnering with hundreds of schools and sports clubs across the country, WWPF provides simple and effective electrocardiogram (ECG) heart screenings to young people, particularly student athletes.
Thanks to the support and resources of the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship and The Center for Leadership and Social Change, Who We Play For has grown to be one of the biggest heart screening organizations in the country. With over 80,000 student athletes and students screened, we’ve identified at least 65 life threatening heart conditions requiring medical intervention and dozens more minor abnormalities that can be monitored to prevent future issues.