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Entrepreneurs Fund

The Colgate Entrepreneurs Fund was established to grow the ventures of Colgate student/alumni entrepreneurs who are solving big problems and have demonstrated an ability to execute.
Entrepreneurs Fund Winners 2017

About the Fund

The Entrepreneurs Fund accelerates the ventures of Colgate student/alumni entrepreneurs who are solving big problems and have demonstrated an ability to execute.

Through spendable gifts made to the eFund, action-oriented teams are awarded cash grants to bring their ventures to commercial viability. Each team receives a seed grant; incubator space for the summer in Hamilton; mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs in the Colgate/TIA Network; and additional startup resources from within the Colgate community.

The fund was established in 2013, and maintained with lead gifts from Dan and Linda Rosensweig P'15, '17, Noah Wintroub '98 and Carey Jennings, and Michael '86 and Julie Ellenbogen.

eFund by the Numbers

  • 27 teams awarded a seed grant to date
  • Over 35 highly qualified Colgate alumni/parent entrepreneurs have screened the applications to date
  • $375K of seed capital deployed through generous gifts from alums and parents, with funds supporting product development, digital marketing, key hires, legal and other growth functions
  • $11.9MM+ of investment capital subsequently raised by eFund teams
  • 17 ventures still currently operating; more than 50% which is well above typical startup odds
  • ~100 full-time jobs created and still filled by eFund ventures, and many more part-time positions created
  • 2,200+ hours of time donated by mentors, on average about 40+ mentors engaging more than 100 times every summer

Teams by Cohort

Summer 2017

BetterMynd is improving the mental health of America’s 21 million college students. BetterMynd gives students access to a network of certified mental health counselors and allows them to engage in teletherapy sessions. 
Cody Semrau ‘14

campus reelCampusReel
CampusReel democratizes the college campus visit. We mitigate financial, temporal and logistical restraints that prevent prospective students from visiting campuses through a platform rich with video content from colleges across the country. 
Rob Carroll ’15 and Nick Freud ‘15

Gipper is a sports highlight app and service that harnesses a love for athletics to improve engagement and further advancement at high schools and colleges.
Matthew Glick ‘19 and Jack Zamore ‘20

Loophole makes a rubber ring phone accessory that prevents you from dropping your phone while also improving how you use your phone. 
Patrick Crowe ‘18 and Steven Stillwell

Room2Learn is a social platform and design consultancy that provides custom and affordable design solutions for K-12 schools, designing delightful spaces for learning.
Grace O’Shea ‘11 and Jane Zhang


Interactive mapping service for airports
Ryan Diew ‘17 and Samantha Braver

alz you needAlz You Need
Connective communication app for families with a loved-one battling Alzheimer's or dementia that allows everyone to stay in the loop using our unique remote reminders
Leda Rosenthal ‘18
Mobile apparatus check software for firefighters
Adam Pratt ‘18 and Alex Montgomery ‘11

flour&saltFlour and Salt Bakery
Niche bakery in Hamilton, NY
Britty Buonocore ‘12

ambersAmber's Natural Goods, LLC
Amber’s Natural Goods is an all-natural peanut and nut butter products start up located in Hamilton, NY. All our products are made fresh in small batches with no high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, or anything weird.
Amber Codiroli ‘10


fairharborFair Harbor Clothing
A clothing company that makes mens swim shorts out of recycled plastic bottles
Jake Danehy ‘16 and Caroline Danehy ‘19

A music data platform that uses an algorithm to predict the next big music stars
Keshav Garg ‘15, Connor Lawrence and Matthew Pavia

plt4mPLT4M (Platform Athletics)
An online training platform built for high school athletics and physical education
Alex Relph ‘09 and Sam Breslin ‘09

lifevisionLife Vision Academy/CYF USA
A progressive boarding school, life-saving home, and creative launch pad that is transforming Nepal's marginalized youth into confident leaders
Amanda Brown ‘15

reignReign (Brainstorm Technologies)
A company using the latest brain technology to unlock athletes potential
Alex Drakos ‘16 and Dave Myers ‘14

echoEcho App
A mobile app that algorithmically ranked public events in a user's local area
Adam Buys ‘17 and Zy Mazza


saplingSapling Advisory
eHarmony for financial advisors and prospective clients
Josh Lasker ‘14 and Daniel Swiecki ‘14

latedateLate Date
Best place to find the perfect date to your next event
Katie Rydell ‘14

vernVern Clothing
Handmade fair trade accessories
Viktor Mak ‘15 and Matthew Kordonowy

hugsHamilton United Gift Shop (HUGS)
An interactive website where users can order and customize gift packages made up of goods from the Hamilton area
Max Stein ‘17

prettierPrettier Please
Beauty on demand, bringing the user experience of Uber and personalization of Rent the Runway to beauty services
Olivia Cranin ‘17


ChicoryChicory (Recipe into Reality)
Creates distributed digital grocery experiences to reach grocery shoppers online
Yuni Sameshima ‘13 and Joey Petracca ‘13

swigSwig (Shindig)
Smart retail built for mobile messaging
Harry Raymond ‘11

goodnatureGood Nature Brewing
NY's first Farm Brewery
Carrie Blackmore ‘08 and Matt Whalen

realabroadReal Abroad
Tripadvisor for college students
Jack Henley ‘13


Cloud-based Manufacturing
Jon Placa and Jimmy Placa ‘07

Buy, sell and trade goods and services on college campuses
Rob Carroll ‘15 and Gabe Zetter ’15

Entrepreneurs Fund In Action

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More about the grant/Apply


A grant of $12,000 - $15,000 is awarded to each of the winning teams.

(May be taxable. Awardees are encouraged to consult a tax professional.)

Eligibility Requirements

Those receiving awards from the Entrepreneurs Fund have to meet the following requirements:
  • The fund is open to for-profit and non-profit ventures with at least one Colgate member on the founding team.
  • At least one member of the founding team must reside in the village of Hamilton for six weeks (in June and July) for the duration of the incubator.
  • Alumni applicants must have graduated within the last 10 years.

Additional Benefits

In addition to funding, award recipients receive the following aids and benefits:

  • Office space in Hamilton
  • Maintain all rights to intellectual property
  • Access to one-on-one mentoring from entrepreneurs in the Colgate/TIA network
  • Access to the upstate New York startup ecosystem
  • Access to the greater Colgate alumni network
  • Startup resources key to launching and growing early stage ventures
  • The benefit of being part of a cohort and sharing best practices with fellow founders

Judges' Criteria

Ventures will be judged by a panel of Colgate alumni entrepreneurs on the following:

  • Quality of idea
  • Size of problem
  • Team
  • Demonstrated ability to execute
  • Stage of development
  • Market viability of venture
*Seeking more than just an idea; prototype and some traction is expected

More Information

For more information, contact Wills Hapworth, Alumni Executive Director of TIA