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Big iDeas Entrepreneurship Student Women in Business

Mantra and Co. Fuses Culture with Commerce!

 

Founded as a jewelry brand by Nrithi Subramanian 25’ (pictured above sitting on a chair) in 2020, Mantra and Co. is a South Asian diasporic brand that relaunched on November 1st to additionally sell apparel and other accessories. Mantra and Co. seeks to promote unity within the diversity of the South Asian community! The brand sells crewnecks, t-shirts, and other apparel that merges South Asian culture with a western streetwear aesthetic. The company is one of profit and progress as a portion of its proceeds are used to help fund a non-profit hospital in Chennai, India! 

Along with her team of fellow college students from around the country, Nrithi is passionate about reclaiming the desi culture, narrative, and community! Here are her own words:

“I created this idea, of a desi fusion apparel brand 3 years ago, while confused by my identity, hoping to create the representation for South Asian Americans that our society lacked. 3 years later, my dream, Mantra and Co, is live.

This is for the children that grew up ashamed of their culture, navigating the duality of their upbringing, and building their identity from the ground-up. This is ours.” 

 

To learn more about Mantra and Co., visit mantra and co. 

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Big iDeas Entrepreneurship Student Technology

Sprout Food Solutions Tackles Food Waste!

2022 Big iDea pitch winner Ashwin Rajesh ‘23 is a senior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration. Ashwin cofounded Sprout Food Solutions in May of this year as a SaaS startup primarily focused on the reduction of kitchen food waste. The company addresses the complex problem the food industry faces concerning how much perishable food truly needs to be bought in order to meet demand, seen as billions of dollars worth of food is lost every year in the U.S. due to overbuying.  

Using a machine learning data regression, Sprout Food Solutions operates as a dashboard that predicts sales data for the following week. This sales data is used to more accurately determine the amount of perishable food inventory that should be ordered, reducing food waste! 

 

“Waste Prevention at Heart, Machine Learning in Mind” 

 

To learn more about the company, visit Sprout Food Solutions  

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Announcements

Big iDeas and Incubator@SMU Entrepreneurship Report 2021-2022

Categories
Announcements

The Incubator is a client of Boulevard Consulting!

The Incubator@SMU is excited to announce that we are a client of SMU’s Boulevard Consulting! Kim Commerato (faculty of CCPA in Meadows) will lead her students through an experiential, capstone-level, real-life exercise to help the Incubator deliver an exciting—and effective—public relations, media relations and branding plan. The Incubator currently has over 50 companies led by undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff. Who knows about the amazing work achieved by our companies and the potential of the Incubator itself? Not as many as we hope to reach. We are looking forward to changing this through the plan and support that this amazing opportunity will achieve. Professor Commerato and the students of Fall 2021 cohort of Boulevard Consulting—thank you for this amazing opportunity!

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Entrepreneurship Health Care Technology

Building the Future of Disease Prevention Technology

[Dallas, Texas July 2021] Irewole (Wole) Akande is an Engineer and Entrepreneur. Currently a full time MBA candidate at Southern Methodist University (SMU), Irewole Akande, is leveraging innovative technology to save lives and reduce the spread of infectious diseases around the world through his healthcare technology startup – City Health Tech. Co-founded by Akande and Northwestern University alumnus, Ibraheem Alinur, in 2017, City Health Tech has developed cutting-edge wireless handwashing technology to guide users through effective handwashing techniques, improve hygienic behaviors, and use data collected to prevent the spread of diseases in the community.

In early 2021, Akande had an unfortunate bout with COVID-19. It occurred when so many good things were happening. City Health Tech had just got their first investor, and the company was to launch their product development of their first product Opal™. Unfortunately, COVID set product development back by over three months.

In Akande’s words: “After the initial disease passed, I was hit with a second round of long-haul symptoms that have severely affected my heart with little to no medical explanations on what is going on or if I’d ever be able to run again. As a result, I have developed severe health anxiety. This feeling is especially crippling because I had never fallen ill before COVID.”

As soon as Akande got good enough, he threw myself right back into working on City Health Tech Inc. with a very different mindset. One of a survivor with a burning desire to prevent others from experiencing what he and millions around the world did. “Prevention is better than cure,” has a whole new meaning to him. And protecting his community is a vision that now defines him.

He insists: “The future of healthcare is prevention. The future of healthcare is public health. The future of healthcare is technology. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. And whatever winding path I take, I will keep me building the future of disease prevention technology.” And he is committed to his goal as in less than a month, City Health Tech will be releasing their first batch of products to strategic partners in the food handling, life sciences, and education spaces.

Akande, is a recipient of the Lucy Billingsley Future Texas Business Legend Award from the prestigious Texas Business Hall of Fame (TBHF). The award is presented to the best and brightest business student entrepreneurs in Texas that exhibit entrepreneurial aspirations and a propensity for leadership and innovation.

City Health Tech is promoting health literacy and more hygienic habits while collecting informative data through its proprietary and revolutionary IoT health communication device, Opal. Opal is a digital assistant that allows schools and organizations to analyze, track, and encourage healthy hand hygiene practices in their community through a variety of health communication/programming. By installing Opal in schools, office buildings, hotels, restaurants, life science buildings, and food manufacturing facilities, customers can encourage healthier habits within their space and collect key hygiene data that can be leveraged to better prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

The company which recently relocated to North Texas is looking to deepen its connections within the state of Texas. The founders were selected as one of only 7% of applicants into Newchip’s (based out of Austin, TX) competitive seed accelerator program. They hope to develop the company and expand their fundraising capabilities with expert mentors as they raise their seed round from angel investors or venture capitalists.

Akande credits the Southern Methodist University for providing him a unique space to grow and scale City Health Tech. Being in Texas has allowed him to tap into the unique resources and opportunities provided by the state. The company is looking for partners and investors within the North Texas area as they look to grow and scale their company.

Contact: Irewole Akande | City Health Tech

Phone: 3125326660

Email: irewole@cityhealthtech.com | partner@cityhealthtech.com

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Big iDeas Entrepreneurship Food & Beverage Student

Make Sister Shaq’s Sweet Tea a Habit

Raleigh DewanRaleigh Dewan is a junior at SMU double majoring in Creative Writing and Marketing with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and minors in Italian, History, and Public Policy and International Affairs. At SMU, Raleigh is a Hunt Leadership Scholar, BBA Scholar, Hilltop Scholar, Pre-Law Scholar, Hegi Career Leader, and a member of the University Honors Program. On the hilltop, Raleigh serves as the Internal Development Chair of Program Council, a member of the Campus Services Student Advisory Board, and is President of the Engaged Learning Student Board.

Raleigh is the founder of Sister Shaq Sweet Tea—a sweet tea company that uses confession worthy, American-grown tea to expand local awareness of human trafficking and empower its victims to regain their independence. He believes the knowledge and experience from participating in the Tower Scholars Program will allow him to better comprehend and advocate for the most effective public policy aimed at fighting human trafficking.

For more about Sister Shaq’s, visit Sister Shaq’s Website

Categories
Arts Education News Women in Business

AnteDia Folkways and Humanities Preservation Society

Pamela BaileyPamela Bailey, who works in the Center on Research and Evaluation in Simmons, recently formed a non-profit, AnteDia Folkways and Humanities Preservation Society!

Bailey is a nationally published author, a singer-songwriter, podcaster, filmmaker, and a self-described “Carolina Daughter” living in Dallas, Texas.  She is descended from enslaved people from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Her projects afford her opportunities to collaborate with scholars in the US and internationally on the subject of forced migration of American-born enslaved people and the lasting effects of forced family separations on their descendants.

For more about Pamela, visit BigFamilySearch.com

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Announcements Arts Entrepreneurship

Rodman Steele is turning it up to 11

Rodman Steele (BA Music ’18) is rapidly growing his music studio based in the Incubator@SMU. With a growing roster of teachers, the Rodman Steele Studio is hosting live events and offering home and studio lessons for guitar, bass, vocals, production, drums, and musical theatre. Turn it up to 11!

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Entrepreneurship Finance

Plutus 21 Founder featured on Blockchain & Crypto panel

Hamiz Mushtaq Awan, founder and partner, Plutus21 Capital, recently spoke on NTX Inno panel about Blockchain and cryptocurrency. Watch the panel below:

For more, visit: NTXInno.com

Panel

– Natalie Smolenski, Head of Business Development, Hyland Credentials and Executive Board Member, Texas Blockchain Council
– Mance Harmon, co-founder and CEO, Hedera Hashgraph
– Hamiz Mushtaq Awan, founder and partner, Plutus21 Capital
– Moderator: Kevin Cummings, Staff Reporter, NTX Inno

Categories
Announcements Big iDeas

Congratulations Big iDeas Business Plan winners!

The 2021 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition was held on February 26th. Congratulations to the following winners:

ANIM

Founder, Manov Janim ’22

College+

Founder, Sean Suberu ’22

Curlē

Founder, Mona El-Gharby ’21

EZ Tutor

Founder, Aryan Bhatnager ’22

Panacea

Madison McMahan ’22

spotBOX

Founder, Sonia Saeed ’23

Sister Shaq’s Sweet Tea

Founder, Raleigh Dewan ’23