Gustie Entrepreneur: Build, Grow, and Win
Gustie-run companies JockLab and School Shark recently won an entrepreneurship competition and start-up funding to spur further growth.
A young company that got its start at Gustavus Adolphus College continued their upward trajectory Oct. 14-15 at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Entrepreneurial Bridge Student Business Plan Competition. JockLab competed in the event using designs they developed while competing in the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup last spring. Alijah Nelson ’19, who won the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup in May, teamed up with Anierobi Eziolise ’18, Oliver Frempong ’20, and Mohammed Sheikh ’20 to take home the first-place prize of $5,000 at the Southern Minnesota event.
Their company, JockLab, is working to further develop their product, “D-Up,” which is essentially a training robot that plays defense against a solo player in a game of basketball. Nelson’s growing company recently secured a partnership with students at Minnesota State University, Mankato to continue to develop the technical side of the product.
Tom Clement, who serves as the Ogden P. and Elizabeth Confer Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Gustavus Department of Economics and Management and Associate Director of the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup, worked closely with both JockLab last spring. “Winning the Southern Minnesota cup helped us generate traction and expand the audience for our startup company,” Nelson said. “JockLab is on track to launch a crowdfunding campaign early spring of 2020.”
With both of these companies taking off, it’s clear that the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup has the potential to open life-changing doors for students.
“Entrepreneurship is the gateway to the economy for many and it is how regular people make the largest impact on the world. Good ideas are not biased and are not dependent on gender, race, color, religion, etc… If it solves a problem, that’s what matters,” Clement said.