Showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit

Photo courtesy of Husky Startup Challenge.

In May, sophomore business major Max Kilb committed an unthinkable act: he forgot Mother’s Day. Yet instead of wallowing in despair, Kilb used the experience as inspiration to launch an online gift scheduling website called I Remembered It.

“What if I could just have someone order flowers for me?” Kilb recalled thinking. “This will make sure so nobody misses events and feels the way I did.”

Kilb, who launched the website with classmates Stephanie Zhang and Sam Robinson, presented the business idea to faculty, students and entrepreneurs at the Fall 2011 Husky Startup Challenge Demo Day in the Curry Student Center Ballroom last Thursday.

The challenge, run by the Entrepreneurs Club, marks the culmination of semester-long boot camps and networking events aimed at helping students turn their business ideas into thriving companies. The activities taught students the ins and outs of market analysis, product design and securing a viable business model.

“The Husky Startup Challenge has enabled students to turn their business ideas into real ventures,” said challenge director Cory Bolotsky. “Demo Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate student innovation at Northeastern University.”

Seventeen student-run ventures presented on Demo Day, including World Wide Women, a travel website tailored specifically to women; Notely, a service that takes notes during students’ classes and compiles fancy weekly packets; and A Face For Me, a dating website that helps make first meetings more successful.

Notely and A Face For Me were named first- and second-place winners by a panel of judges. World Wide Women was named “audience favorite.”  All three earned cash prizes to help accelerate their businesses.

Sebastian Dominguez, a junior business major with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship, showcased his venture called eWaiterApp, which would allow restaurant customers to look up reviews of menu items, flag down their waiters and even send their orders to the servers themselves.

eWaiter would not replace the waiter, but would make the dining experience much more interactive and efficient for both customers and restaurant staff, Dominguez explained. “This would help increase customer satisfaction,” he said.