Our Get Started Fall 2016 Cohort has recently come to an end. The program’s newest grads have completed the initial steps towards conquering the best of what the business world offers. In the past six months, the resilient entrepreneurs of the Fall 2016 Cohort have experimented, pivoted, and found clarity as to the true potential of their ideas. From finding inexpensive airfare out of Tallahassee to delivering pillows through an online subscription, we are proud of all that the Get Started family is bringing to life.
After 6 months of incubation, mentor access, and coworking, many of the Fall 2016 cohort entrepreneurs have moved into new phases in their startups. Quinterious Enzor of Envint Management Group is moving forward on his pivot, allowing him to focus on what is meaningful and connect grant seekers with grant writers (see Why I Chose to Pivot). One Fresh Pillow, the world’s first online pillow subscription service, recently completed its beta testing phase, receiving a wealth of exciting user feedback and actionable data. Founders Aaron and Adrianne Kautz expect to do a soft launch in the next few months.
FLY Mouthwash has also been on the receiving end of good news, particularly from Amazon and Vitacost where the revolutionary mouthwash concentrate has been approved for sale. Co-founder Nick Telford’s post-Get Started focus has been on the production process and team building for FLY Mouthwash. A supplier for the bottles and shrink sleeve labels, as well as designer Enrique Morgan, were recently acquired to assist with branding. But FLY Mouthwash isn’t stopping there. Telford believes they’ve finalized the perfect formula after holding countless interviews and tests with consumers. As a result, FLY Mouthwash is preparing to launch in August with a confident look, brand, and product.
On the educational side of the spectrum, Meagan Bonnell of Codecraft Works has been busily accepting enrollments for summer camps taking place on both FSU and FAMU’s campus. “We are offering camps in Game Design, Web Dev, Python, Cyber Security, and Block Programming,” Bonnell says. In the future, she hopes to open after-school programs for elementary and middle school students. “The need and demand for STE(A)M access for kids is stronger than ever,” Meagan adds. “At Codecraft Works, we hope to continue to provide computer programming education in Tallahassee.”
Since Get Started, Michele Kiker, founder of Fare Skies, a subscription service that finds discounted flight prices out of Tallahassee, has been exploring additional ways to reach travelers, including hosting workshops to create one-of-a-kind trip itineraries. A couple of weeks back, she successfully helped create an itinerary for siblings traveling to Amsterdam. She has also been working with Cuttlesoft to develop a website that provides subscribers deal alerts via email and text notification. Fare Skies began beta testing near the end of May and has partnered with Jacob Waites to create the brand logo.
Successful startups disrupt industries and traditions, and that’s what Weather Tiger aims to do in the world of meteorology. Unlike other forecasters, Weather Tiger predicts a lower chance of the El Niño weather phenomenon this hurricane season. Ryan Truchelut, co-founder and chief meteorologist, tells The Democrat, “TigerTracks’ predictive algorithm incorporates more and better sources of input data than other seasonal hurricane prediction methodologies.”
However, these algorithms do more for the people than just tell hurricane season statistics. What this means for both meteorology and the public is that Weather Tiger’s unique and modern tuning can also be used for other customized seasonal forecasts like public safety, risk, retail businesses, and more commodities in the future. The startup will continue working for the Tallahassee Democrat by providing expert tropical weather forecast during hurricane season, as well as weekly outlook videos released every Wednesday. The first one was released on Wednesday, May 31st.
Weather Tiger has also been developing their business pitch by participating in 1 Million Cups as well as the Leon Co. Research and Development Authority Elevator Pitch Night competition, where they finished second runner-up.
This Get Started cohort’s forte lies in not just working hard but thinking differently. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about creating an app and waiting for it to go viral. It is about disrupting a comfortable system with innovative possibilities that didn’t previously exist. Fortunately, this is one of the many diverse talents that live and grow in Tallahassee. Stay tuned as these talented entrepreneurs continue working to create services and products to evolve the status quo.