Tag Archives: startup

Wishing Wells: A start-up starting up

I sat down a few days ago with Brent Packer ’15 and Tavo True-Alcalá ’15, the two co-founders of Wishing Wells, an up and coming water bottle filling station startup. Wishing Wells reduces plastic water bottle waste for big events on campus and is soon looking to expand with a bigger team and a larger impact.   wwell_crop

 Brent (L) and Tavo (R), just two great dudes doing really cool shit. 
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sheninagans: What are Wishing Wells?

Tavo: Wishing Wells are portable water distribution stations that provide chilled, filtered water for events like football games or reunion and commencement. The goal is to reduce the amount of disposable water bottles that people use at events like that. All you need is ice and a hose connection. It’s great.

Brent: The reason that this came about is because Wesleyan, and a lot of other universities across North America, have committed to reducing, or eliminating water bottle sales on their campuses.  Wesleyan has been really great about that, you won’t find bottled water in Weshop or anywhere else.  But the one area where they’ve had a lot of trouble was with these large outdoor events, reunion and commencement and football games are the main ones.  They needed a way to hydrate people without breaking the commitment they made of being a bottled water free campus.  They knew there would be a solution out there.  They had some expensive ideas, like renting water bottle filling stations, but they thought there could be an easier and more cost effective way to do that.  So two years ago they sponsored a competition.  A bunch of students, with no engineering background, put together some designs. And our team, which was Tavo, Nina Gerona, Madeleine O’Brian, and myself just scrappily put together a plan and won the competition. Then our design was built with the help of Dave and Bruce in the machine shop and since then, Wishing Wells have saved 10,500 water bottles, mostly from the past two reunion and commencements and a few other events.

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What are you doing with Wishing Wells right now?

Alumni Startup Showcase

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From Jelisa Adair ’13 and the PCSE:

Hear from nine extraordinary Wes grads who founded or run their own ventures. This inaugural Startup Showcase will include stories about startup life, an unprecedented opportunity to mingle with inspiring young entrepreneurs, and hearty snacks and coffee to fuel your Reading Period work. Registration is strongly suggested!

Sponsored by the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the Wesleyan Career Center, and the Wesleyan Entrepreneurship Society.

Date: Sunday, December 8th
Time: 4pm-6pm
Place: Olson Commons
Link: Hurrrr
Cost: Freezles

Read after the jump to see what awesome alumni will be at this event.

$25k For Your Startup

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The Patricelli Center, Dana Pellegrino ’12, and Josh Levine ’12 have a crazy-cool proposition for you ingenious innovators:

Have an idea that’s been keeping you up at night? Ready to transform it into a reality? This summer, Downtown Project will make investments of $25k into six very early stage startups, and one of them could be yours! For three months we will bring together founders, a mentorship network, and a host of learning opportunities in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas to see what’s possible when big ideas are given the time, resources, and opportunity to percolate.

Interested? Read the background below, then email joshl(at)downtownproject(dot)com to request more info. Applications due May 14th.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Contact: joshl(at)downtownproject(dot)com
Link: Via Engaged University

Interview: Peter Frank ’12, Former Owner of CollegeACB, Launches New Textbook Venture

“If a campus as tight-knit and progressive as Wesleyan can’t come together to defeat yesterday’s monopolist and incumbent powers, then maybe it just can’t be done.”

Peter Frank ’12, the famed Internet entrepreneur who ran the CollegeACB empire from his Fauver dorm room and made his way into the pages of TIME Magazine before selling the site in 2011 for an undisclosed six-figure sum, is back in the game with a new start-up. Not quite as juicy as the ACB (but probably far more useful), Frank’s latest venture is Texts.com, a “lean, green, student-first platform” for students to buy and sell textbooks to and from each other online. The start-up made its Wesleyan debut on Foss Hill around 4:20 p.m. yesterday; you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s a service that provides free pizza to stoned Wesleyan students at all hours of the day (that’s my new start-up idea, don’t tell anyone):

With help from Lisa Sy ’13 and Benjamin Halpern (a student at Mount Allison University in Canada), Frank aims to build a “commission-free, zero-fee, student-to-student textbook exchange” that eliminates the middleman.