Student entrepreneurs gain real-world experience

Trinity is known for offering a great number of diverse programs that appeal to the interests of every student on campus. Whether you’re fascinated by medicine, intrigued by business fundamentals or have a passion for languages, you’ll likely be able to find a program that appeals to you. The ability to earn a minor in entrepreneurship is one of Trinity’s most well known programs. By following this curriculum, students are able to form groups in which they actually conceptualize ideas, design their concept, and market or produce it to a mass audience.

One of the teams has manufactured a brand of chewing gum under the name of Plova.

“Our team wanted to create a product that could would support dental hygiene on-the-go. Our product is a chewing gum that whitens teeth, fights plaque, reduces the chance of gingivitis, and provides fresh breath,” said Vikram Patel, sophomore entrepreneurship student.

With Trinity’s help, the Plova team has been able to take their concept to the next level.

“Trinity has provided us with so many resources to enhance and build our project. The connections we are able to use, as well as the mentoring and facilities, have helped us progress to where we are at right now,” Patel said.

Trinity’s program has allowed various hotels to make pre-orders with Plova, garnering success for the team.

“The best part of Plova chewing gum has been the gaining of knowledge and experience. It is rewarding to work with a team that unites to achieve one goal, and being able to implement concepts learned in class and see our idea turn into a reality,” Patel said.  

Another team of Trinity students have used the entrepreneurship program to develop an app called Reto.

“Our team is developing a mobile application that turns the user’s world into an arena, where they can challenge anyone, anywhere, at anytime to do anything. The challenges could range anywhere from jumping in the pool with all of your clothes on to donating a meal to someone less fortunate “” it really depends on the user’s creativity. We connect users to their friends through viral head-to-head match ups, and also connect businesses to potential customers through sponsorship of branded challenges that target the users specifically,” said Alan Toscano, senior entrepreneurship student.  

The team has endured several obstacles in the journey to build their app, but each challenge was seen as a learning opportunity.

“Building this startup has been like being thrown in the middle of an ocean, surrounded by sharks, while trying to learn to float, swim, and navigate all at once-the challenge is what inspires us to work hard each day,” Toscano said.

Though there are numerous challenges to overcome when building an app, Trinity has provided this team with resources to conquer each challenge.

“Trinity has provided plentiful resources for the inception of our app, essentially acting as an incubator to grow our startup. The entrepreneurship department has been a tremendous help throughout the entire process through their constant mentorship and guidance,” Toscano said.

The beta application will be released soon to select individuals, but those interested in the app can find the team on Instagram and Facebook.  From there, the team hopes to see great success.

“After releasing the app to mobile app stores, once we validate our product and acquire a predetermined average monthly users and activity level, we will reach a point of scale where we will raise capital from outside investors to grow Reto at a much quicker rate,” Toscano said.

One of the other teams has promoted their idea right on Trinity’s campus; The Laundry Crew operates as a student-run laundry service for the busy Trinity community.

“We do wash and fold laundry and dry cleaning for staff, faculty and students,” said sophomore Micaela Hoffman.

Participating in the entrepreneurship program helped Micaela and her teammate, Joshua Manton, develop their idea by interacting with the Trinity community, and eventually, they reached great success.

“My ideas developed through a lot of manifestations. Trinity held a contest that gave us funding. Without Trinity, we would not have been able to start off. I think the best part was when I got the keys to the Tiger’s Den and I was like “˜this is real.’ Realizing this was real and tangible and that I had made something was the best,” Hoffman said.

Trinity offers the opportunity to achieve this success to students of all fields. “Anyone can join trinity entrepreneurship; I’m able to startup my own business even without a major or minor in entrepreneurship. It’s not hard if you have the right support, and Trinity provides that support,” Hoffman said.

The opportunity to actually produce and market their own unique concept has been hugely beneficial to the students involved in the entrepreneurship program. With future products and success stories sure to be introduced soon, it’s clear the accomplishments of the entrepreneurship minor at Trinity make it a highly valuable and prominent program.