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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship Office of Engaged Learning – Research

The Office of Engaged Learning welcomes Kelly Chandrapal as new Program Coordinator

The Office of Engaged Learning welcomes Kelly Chandrapal as the new Program Coordinator. Kelly comes to SMU most recently from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s art museum where she worked closely with undergraduate and graduate students in her position as the Learning Resources Coordinator. Prior to working at UNC, she implemented educational programs in museums and taught elementary and high school art in Texas public schools. Kelly earned a BFA in Visual Art Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and MA in Museum Science from Texas Tech University. She is a Texas native but new to Dallas and is looking forward to becoming a part of the SMU community!

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship

The Office of Engaged Learning welcomes Michael Kelly as Entrepreneurship Fellow

Michael Kelly is joining the Office of Engaged Learning team this semester as the first Entrepreneurship Fellow. In this role, Michael will host the E-Launch workshop series and coach winners of the Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

Michael is the Co-Founder of Resolute Future, a software company dedicated to empower the next generation of innovators, and a former VP of investments at JPMorgan Chase where he spent 12 years with a variety of responsibilities including sales, financial planning, management, & training. He held his series 7, series 66, and insurance federal and state licenses in over 20 states during his tenure there. Michael built a $120 million business before leaving to start Resolute Future. While at JPMorgan, he was recognized multiple times for his sales accolades, served on the Diversity Board, and helped increase the book of business 60x under his leadership. Michael is also a serial Entrepreneur dating back to his first venture in 2005/06 while still in high school. He currently sits on the Venture Board for the Dallas Entrepreneur Center focused on increasing venture activity in the DFW area. He donates his time to the DEC, the Capital One accelerator program, Mass Challenge’s accelerator program, and giving speeches at Universities. He was voted by his peers North Texas’ Startup Evangelist of the year for 2023. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with his business administration and management degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship

For the Big iDeas Pitch Contest this month, SMU undergraduates compete for $1,000 for their startup

Get the word out that SMU students can start their own businesses by having an idea, developing a pitch, and entering the Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

Click on the links below to lean more and RSVP!

Family Weekend – Friday, September 29: Big iDeas Pitch Contest – Win $1000 in 90 Seconds – Hughes Trigg Ballroom 

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Engaged Learning Fellowship and Big iDeas

The Office of Engaged Learning invites students to apply to their premier funding opportunities: the Engaged Learning Fellowship and the Big iDeas Pitch Contest!

The Engaged Learning Fellowship (ELF) provides up to $2500 of funding for students pursuing a capstone project in research, service, or creative inquiry. The deadline for the current cycle is September 15. Applicants submit a project proposal along with a letter of recommendation from their faculty mentor. Proposals are reviewed by a faculty panel.

The Big iDeas Pitch Contest awards up to $1000 of funding for student entrepreneurs. A brief application is due by September 27, and participants will deliver a live 90-second pitch to a panel of judges on Friday, September 29 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship Student Academic Engagement & Success

Big iDeas is Back!

 

Pitch to win $5,000 at the Big iDeas Business Plan Competition. Applications are open now! Apply at smu.edu/bigideas.

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship

Mantra and Co. Fuses Culture with Commerce!

 

by Hannah Green ’26

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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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship

Sprout Food Solutions Tackles Food Waste!

by Hannah Green ’26

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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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship

Office Opening at SMU Incubator

New Office Opening at the Incubator@SMU!

Are you a startup founder in need of Office Space? The Incubator@SMU has a new opening for a 12 x 12 space, perfect for a two person team.

To view please contact, Camille McCallum at camillew@smu.edu

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship Uncategorized

Big iDeas $1000 Pitch Contest

Big iDeas Competition will be held this Friday! We encourage all to attend and support young entrepreneurs. If you’re competing, please register for pitch practice here!

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Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning - Entrepreneurship Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Office of Engaged Learning September Newsletter

The Office of Engaged Learning’s September newsletter is available to read online. Check out upcoming workshops and events, along with recent news about our entrepreneurship and research programs. Click here for a PDF version