Intro to Entrepreneurship Students Make Big with Start-up Ideas

For release:  June 10, 2015

Jennifer Sadler, instructor of Management, had three notable student start-up projects in her MGMT 2820, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, class this past spring.

Student Elisha Key developed PowWow, a social media application designed to connect people with local community events and places. It allows its users to quickly and dynamically find things to do with their friends, new groups of people, or alone. Users can also create their own event for others to view, use, and attend. During the semester, Key received $30,000 through a friends and family round of funding.

A second start-up TEA M. I. by Gerrin Murray is a community initiative to build tea gardens in underserved areas in Memphis. The tea grown from the gardens will be produced and sold at local farmers markets to introduce customers to the concept of knowing where the items are grown and the ingredients included. After students assisted in raising the first funds for TEA M. I., Murray received a matching investment from the crowdfunding site for neighborhood projects, In Our Own Backyard (ioby.org). Murray is currently working on a partnership with a neighborhood to plant the first set of tea gardens.

Mustaches in May was created by Robbie Marsico as an initiative to raise awareness and money for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma International Organization (ACCOI). This start-up was in response to Marsico's own loss of his father one year ago to the disease. The team made paper mustaches and coozies to be sold for donations to ACCOI. Though Mustaches in May is not set up as a business endeavor, Marsico went further to see how it would look as a possible non-profit. Currently, Mustaches in May has raised over $2,500 towards its goal.

MGMT 2820 is a required course for the campus-wide minor in entrepreneurship. Students enrolled in this course get hands-on experience creating start-up businesses and ideas. "We learned about investing in our own businesses and the different forms of investment we could receive," said Elisha Key. He went on to say, "The pitching sessions push to get a minimum viable product to consumers and this class has really helped with that." MGMT 2820, Intro to Entrepreneurship, is offered in fall and spring semesters.

For more information about the University of Memphis Entrepreneurship Minor that's housed in the Department of Management of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, please click here.