A card game that teaches you how to freestyle rap. A shoe insert that prevents blisters from forming on your feet. A web platform that provides virtual reality tours of rental properties using high-definition 360-degree photography.
All very diverse solutions that have one thing in common. They are among the products that students and alumni will showcase Thursday at Northeastern’s entrepreneurship expo, where entrepreneurs will share their innovative ideas, meet potential investors, and network with professionals in a range of industries.
Sophie Gechijian had trouble finding a snack bar that was tasty, low in sugar, and good for brain and heart health. So she started baking her own granola bars with her mother at her family’s home in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and launched the company, f(x) foods, Inc., earlier this year.
In October, she started selling her bars in retail and vending locations, including Wollaston’s grocery store on Northeastern’s Boston campus. Now she wants to promote her brand at NEXPO, which is hosted by IDEA, Northeastern’s student-led business accelerator, and held as part of the university’s weeklong celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
“This is the most rewarding thing I’ve done to date,” said Gechijian, who graduated from Northeastern in 2016.
Global Entrepreneurship Week precedes Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, on Monday Nov. 19, which was launched in 2013 to celebrate and support female entrepreneurs worldwide.
Entrepreneur Jerry Spatch designed a card game called Vers that makes it easy to create a freestyle rap. “If you can read, you can freestyle with Vers,” said Spatch, a senior who is majoring in business administration.
He said that the game combines his interests in freestyle rap, music industry, anthropology, and graphic design. But it wasn’t until he took an entrepreneurship course at Northeastern that he started to think about creating a business based on his varied interests. He came up with the idea for a card game in fall 2016 while participating in the Husky Startup Challenge, which is a semesterlong program run by Northeastern’s Entrepreneurs Club that helps students turn their ideas into businesses.
“Entrepreneurship gave me the platform to do whatever I want, any way I want,” Spatch said. “I can do productive things with my different interests.”
Gechijian and Spatch have also worked with student groups within Mosaic, which is a network of student organizations at Northeastern that provide specific services to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Scout, the student-run design studio, designed the packaging for Vers and the IP-CO LAB helped to trademark Spatch Games, which is the company Spatch founded to launch Vers. Gechijian turned to Scout to help design the website for f(x) foods, Inc. and new packaging for her granola bars.
Other startups that are expected to attend NEXPO include PartRunner, which helps contractors get parts and materials delivered to their job sites on demand; ScholarJet, a web platform that enables college students to participate in company-sponsored challenges aimed at funding their education; and Mobile Pixels, which has designed a second screen that can be attached to a laptop in order to help users increase their productivity while on-the-go.