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EI in the News

Banner Year For UMass Student Entrepreneurs

07/27/2007 - UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative Helps Students Turn Ideas into Businesses

July 27th 2007, Amherst, MA – The 2006-7 proved to be a banner year for students participating in the The UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative (UMass EI). At the start of the academic year eight teams of students explored the possibility of turning their dreams into real businesses.

Less than a year later these students have made incredible progress. Three teams are already generating revenue, one has secured over $120k in investment from local "angels,"another team won $45,000 in the UMass Amherst Technology Innovation Challenge, and other teams have won numerous awards and funding from other competitions.

About the students' companies:

  • 4TWK (www.4twk.com)- Founded by Caleb Oakland, Stephen Kelley Jr., and Cory O’Brien in 2007, 4TWK is a is a web-based music and culture magazine that has built a sizable and loyal fan base over the past two years and will soon organize local music and culture events. This company is already generating revenue and won numerous awards over the past year.

  • Channel Design International- Founded by Lynn M. Crevier, Nishita Nickey, and Michael Pescatore and preparing for incorporation, the company is developing a product for athletes who have undergone knee surgery and who want to maintain physical fitness. With the engineering analysis completed, the company is looking for funding to build a working prototype to achieve further milestones.

  • Condition Engineering - Founded by Alaina Hanlon and Richard Bradshaw in 2006, the company is developing a cost effective ground monitoring system that could warn of imminent failures of levees and earthen damns. This company won 1stplace in the $50k UMass Amherst Technology Innovation Challenge business plan competition.

  • Dexrex (www.dexrex.com)- Founded by Derek Lyman, Brett Lyman, Kris Wortman in 2007, Dexrex provides users a universal means of archiving and reviewing instant messages. The company's first product is being tested and due to launch later this year.

  • Engineered Response - Founded by Brycen Spencer in 2007, Engineered Response is developing a helmet that can automatically detect injury and radio for help.

  • Extreme Action - Founded by Michael Piccirilli in 2007, the company hopes to import new "extreme sports" activities to ski resorts.

  • Rentabilities (www.rentabilities.com) - Founded by Alexander & Andrew Cook in 2007, Rentabilities aims to be the Orbitz of Rent-A-Centers. They provide an efficient web reservation system alongside a back-end inventory management system. The company launched this summer, is generating revenue, and won a number of awards at the local and regional level.

  • UMass AT- Founded in 2006 by Brian Mullen, the company is commercializing technology developed at UMass Amherst that shows promise as a means to safely and humanely calm autistic children experiencing anxiety attacks. This company made it to the finals of the $50k UMass Amherst Technology Innovation Challenge.

About The UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative (umassei.org):
The UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) mission is to help students turn ideas into businesses. The organization inspires students to explore the entrepreneurial career path, trains them in how to evaluate their ideas, and then connects them to the resources needed to take the first steps in starting their own business. Students participating in EI's program earn academic credit, opportunities to win prize money, and are connected to mentors. The program is sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management, the UMass Amherst College of Engineering, and EI Alumni.


© 2006-7 UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative. Site design by Jamie Steglinski.