Rooming App Take First Prize in Business Plan Contest

Brea Givens, a senior managerial finance main from Austin, Texas, is the over-all winner of the 17th Annual Gillespie Organization Strategy Competitors at the College of Mississippi for her app, Froomie, that can help students locate roommates and off-campus housing. Submitted image

When Brea Givens transferred to the College of Mississippi as a junior in 2019, she had a complicated time getting a suitable roommate, so she started establishing her individual application to streamline the course of action and provide better benefits.

That led to Froomie, which offers roommate and housing solutions for college or university pupils, and which just gained first place in the university’s 17th once-a-year Gillespie Business Approach Opposition. Givens, the founder and CEO, will receive $10,000 toward her LLC and a year of complimentary office house, valued at $3,600, at the Innovation Hub at Insight Park.

She also won the Lynn and Ron Samuels Pupil Entrepreneur Award, which incorporates an further $5,000. 

A senior finance significant from Austin, Texas, Givens was unable to discover a suited roommate when she transferred to Ole Overlook from Austin Group College or university and had to vacation resort to random placement. This expertise uncovered her to the absence of sources out there to learners in locating roommates and off-campus housing. 

“It is fantastic to see Brea Givens’s thought for Froomie grow into an LLC she utilized the judges’ feedback from very last yr,” claimed Clay Dibrell, co-director of the Heart for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Through her tough operate and those who have worked with her, she is looking to start Froomie in the in the vicinity of long run.”

Givens received the sixth Mid-South Business Model Competitiveness in November 2020 and has worked to improve the business due to the fact then. 

“Since the BMC, I’ve been concentrating on finalizing Froomie’s original mobile platform capabilities by doing the job with a UI/UX designer as properly as talking with potential consumers and end users,” Givens explained. “It’s wonderful knowing that I have assistance from the school and its alumni. 

“The CIE has played a huge element in helping me get to in which I am now, and I could not have carried out it without the need of their continued assist and mentorship.”

Participation improved by 30% over past year’s Gillespie opposition, said Tong Meng, director of programs in the university’s Heart for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which sponsors both equally competitions. 

“We experienced teams from varied backgrounds, freshmen to graduate pupils, groups with just an strategy to all those who were submit-revenue, IMC majors to biomedical engineering majors,” Meng said. “We are thrilled that students acknowledge and have confidence in the CIE and its programming as important assets, the place they can receive aid with their entrepreneurial pursuit.”

From 27 pitches, six business enterprise ideas were picked to present to a panel of 7 judges in the closing spherical.

The ultimate round judges integrated: Abb Payne, The Payne Companies’ founder and CEO Stephen Richards, founder of Richard’s Bespoke William Yates, CEO of Yates Development Emmet Seibels, co-founder and former president of Verus Health care Liza Cirlot Looser, CEO of The Cirlot Company Jan Farrington, former govt director of Health-related Support and Advancement Business Inc. and Lawrence Farrington, a member of the board of directors for mTrade Inc. and the UM Basis. 

Placing next in the levels of competition was SageApp, a platform intended to increase on the internet learning for equally pupils and teachers, launched by Austin Wallace, of Southaven, and Michael Valencia, of Nashville, Tennessee, both of those juniors majoring in chemistry. They obtained $5,000 toward their LLC. 

A few additional awards, each worthy of $5,000, ended up presented from donations to guidance the CIE, with Givens successful the Lynn and Ron Samuels College student Entrepreneur Award.

Senior biomedical engineering majors Tristan Everyday, of Saltillo Noah McKone, of Bogue Chitto Jake Smith, of Hernando and Owen Barry, of Madison, been given the Thomas W. Colbert-Local community Financial institution Innovation Award for Rolling Thunder, a thought to boost rehabilitation and comfort and ease for persons working with wheelchairs. This award recognizes an exceptional venture pushed by innovation in a product or service/approach/provider or technological alter advancement. 

HoopAtlanta obtained the Stephen E. Rowell Entrepreneur Award for exemplifying the entrepreneurial spirit via a enterprise driven by innovation. Jordan Wyton, a senior multidisciplinary scientific studies significant from Grayson, Ga, started this corporation to host organized pickup basketball video games for enjoyment, quick-paced sessions with no lengthy-phrase motivation he has by now expanded to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville. 

“We are grateful for our sponsors and their guidance that enables us to provide financial prizes to support the launch of these pupil-led companies,” claimed Ken Cyree, dean of the UM University of Enterprise Administration. “It is encouraging to note the adaptability and resiliency of our learners to change in these interesting situations, and I imagine the upcoming of these Ole Pass up business people is vivid.”


By Ali Mae Walsh

Yung A. Elizabeth

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