While the rest of us were relaxing on spring break a few of our entrepreneurs spent their week at VCU working hard to advance their ideas and win some prize money. After competing against some of the best schools in the area, at the end of the week ThoughtPath came away with $500, and Candid Campus Tours with $5,000. We’re so proud of both our teams and continue to be amazed with that they’ve accomplished so far, as well as what they’ll continue to do moving forward.

After their big win, the Candid Campus co-founders each reflected on their experience.

From Trevor Jackson: “Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there for the entire week, but Kent and Greg really delivered a quality pitch. It is truly amazing to have teammates that are just as passionate and hard-working as you are. I was able to make it to the event in time for the judges decision and even though I wasn’t there that week, I still was still nervous for the decision. It really validates all of the hours you put into the business when you do really well at two separate pitch competitions. The money that we received from the VCU event will really allow us to experiment with growth options and flesh out our business processes.”

From Greg Garnhart: “Though it was perhaps not the most restful Spring break, VCU’s Startup Spring Break was a great experience. Having the opportunity to meet with founders of startups from other schools was incredible and having the opportunity to see the progress that everyone made was equally as valuable. The real draw, though, was having the chance to hear pitches from startups at different stages. The span of businesses, ranging from a few weeks to a few years old, was impressive.”

From Kent Rollins: “Startup spring break was an amazing event put on by the VCU DaVinci center. Greg and I went to represent Candid Campus, and were thoroughly impressed by the school, staff, and people. The week went by quickly, and culminated with an intense pitch contest bringing together 12 of the best student startups in Virginia. We were incredibly excited to see our hard work pay off when we received second place and $5,000 in equity free funding. The event truly showcased the energy in the VCU Ecosystem, the city is truly on the rise.”

William and Mary was lucky enough to have two teams place in the competition this year. ThoughtPath is a startup here on campus quickly gaining traction and causing quite the stir. Asher Smith-Rose led his team of entrepreneurs to a nice $500 takeaway by the end of the week, and we’re excited to see what comes next.

From Asher: “The week started with a design thinking course and culminated in a pitch competition. Thirteen teams presented their companies to prominent Richmond judges for a total purse of $25,000. Candid Campus’ pitch was well received by the judges, all of whom have struggled to help their kids find the right college. The startup was awarded $5,000 in funding. Thought Path also got some attention from the crowd, and was awarded $500. The next time we’ll see these teams is at Tom Tom on April 12th. Stay tuned!”