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Budding Entrepreneurs Share Business Ideas at 1776

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An enterprising and driven group of Georgetown University students and alumni shared their business ideas at 1776 on Wednesday, July 30. The event was the culmination of a two-month long incubator program through the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative’s StartupHoyas.

This year, 18 ventures comprising students and alumni from across the university participated in the Summer Launch Program. The groups developed a broad range of business ideas, from food to fashion to fantasy soccer.

“The Summer Launch Program is an in-depth opportunity for our students and alumni to really pursue their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown University Entrepreneurship Initiative. “Some companies are off and running and have great promise. Others will continue to develop and may morph into other ideas. Either way, the participants each learned a lot about the process of launching a company and connected with our group of amazing mentors.”

Luisa Santos, C ’14, was one of seven entrepreneurs who pitched their ideas in front of the more than 100 people gathered at 1776. Her venture, LuLu’s Ice Cream, already has achieved a loyal following in the D.C. area.

“This experience has been one of tremendous growth,” she said. “With each step I learn more and more.”

Throughout the program, participants developed their business plans, honed their messaging, and met with mentors.

Barbara Crocker, C ’75, one of the mentors of the summer incubator and president and CEO of Barbara Crocker Design, first met Santos through her involvement in the Georgetown Scholarship Program.

“I loved her vision, her tenacity, her drive, and her dedication,” Crocker said.

For Santos, who hopes to bring her product to a storefront in Florida next year, the incubator program offered an opportunity to learn from experienced business owners.

“It is incredible how generous these people are with their time, their resources, and their networks,” she said. “Spending time with the mentors who are real entrepreneurs who have done this very well in the past is priceless.”

The summer incubator program, in its fourth year at Georgetown, allows students and alumni from all backgrounds to explore their passions and think creatively about their business pursuits.

“That’s special about Georgetown,” Crocker said. “To be in StartupHoyas, you don’t have to be a business student…nothing stops you here.”