Acquiring an MBA from the University of Missouri requires you to become proficient in analyzing problems and identifying solutions in a constantly changing world. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit have the unique drive to take those ideas and work from the ground up to make them a reality. Bringing Up Business: Mid-Missouri’s Innovation Week, which took place Oct. 6-13, 2017, provided Crosby MBA students with an opportunity to showcase their skills learned in the classroom to their real-world startups. Riley Coy, dual MBA/JD student, coordinated with a team of veterinary students, law students, and local web designer to make their startup, House Collars, come to life. They then used the Columbia Startup Weekend as an opportunity to spend the weekend with 125 other individuals who have the same goal. Meanwhile, Crosby MBA Students and student athletes Eric Laurent, Jacob Hurrell, and Kristen Rivers were granted the opportunity to pitch their startup, Stor, “Shark Tank” style to key local entrepreneurs. Through the events of Bringing Up Business, both teams found success.
54 Hours. 125 Individuals. Infinite Numbers of Ideas.
7th Annual Columbia Startup Weekend occurred on Oct. 6- 8, 2017, and served as the starting event for Bringing Up Business. Whether participants were looking to start a business or simply hoping to enhance their entrepreneurial skills, this weekend provided excitement for all involved. For Crosby MBA student Riley Coy and his team, this was an opportunity to further improve their newly developing business serving a clear need in the Columbia community. House Collars is an in-home pet care service run by veterinary technicians out of the University of Missouri. The evolution of their pitch over the three day event served them well, as the House Collars team received first place in the pitch competition. As a result, they earned the opportunity to pitch for a variety of organizations and events in mid-Missouri, along with a prize package that included a variety of resources to help them launch their business, including web hosting services and workspace. They were recently covered by the Missouri Business Alert.
Stor Team Snags Funding in Local “Shark Tank” Startup Competition
Eric Laurent, Crosby MBA student and startup founder of Stor, developed the concept for this startup by coming across a common issue in his collegiate life: space. In his story featured on the Stor website, he says, “With an expiring lease, I needed to have all of my stuff moved out of my current apartment, but couldn’t move into my new place for another couple of weeks. I had done the whole ‘storage facility’ thing before and, unfortunately, knew all the pains that came along with it. I was either going to struggle to find an available unit, drive tons of miles to a facility, or pay a small fortune. I needed to come up with something better.” That “something better” developed into Stor. Eric enlisted four other individuals, including two of his MBA classmates Kristen Rivers and Jacob Hurrell, and Stor was born. Stor takes on a concept similar to that of Airbnb and sources both hosts and space renters for those seeking easier storage solution in the Columbia area. Clearly local investors saw potential in their company as they were invited to pitch their business at Shark Tank competition with the Missouri Tech Challenge hosted. Through their passion, dedication to the idea, and well-thought-out plan, the Stor team received a $25,000 investment toward their future development. Not only was the team excited to be granted the next step in their journey, but they were surrounded by a support system of Crosby MBA students who were there to watch them succeed. Read the Missouri Business Alert‘s and the Columbia Business Times’s recap of the event.