Finding a suitable barber or hairstylist without a credible referral can be a challenge for many. This difficulty is often amplified when the person is African American and new to an area, as can be the case with students attending college out of state. The solution to this problem may be as simple as adding the right “Flare.”
Morgan State University electrical engineering majors Nadif Bracey (senior) and Calvin Francis (junior) recently partnered with Hofstra University marketing major Carrisa Anderson (senior) to pitch a new business idea before a panel of judges at the 2016–2017 Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge. Their entry in the highly competitive event, held on the campus of Hofstra, was Flare, a new mobile app that connects consumers seeking hair care with licensed barbers and stylists in their immediate vicinity. The team’s “pitch” demonstrating why Flare was a viable business concept earned them a fourth-place finish and a $400 award. Top honors went to an e-commerce website pitched by a trio of Hofstra University undergraduates.
Hofstra University hosts the annual Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge to assist students with developing their ideas into businesses. The competition is administered by Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship. A total of $50,000 in prize money is awarded during the academic year. The competition is designed for new, independent ventures in the ideation, seed, startup or early growth stages. All of the competing teams must include a Hofstra student.
Before earning the opportunity to be included among the competition’s 10 finalists out of 86 initial applicants, the Flare team first had to advance from the Bootcamp and Semi-Final Rounds. The finalists were then given five minutes each to face off in a “Shark Tank”-like pitch-a-thon, presenting their product/innovation before an esteemed panel of judges working in entrepreneurship and capital strategy.
After their strong finish at the Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge, the Morgan entrepreneurs are looking to have their team’s app featured in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store by July 2017. Congratulations to Nadif Bracey and Calvin Francis for serving as an example of how Morgan is preparing its students to grow the future and lead the world…with flare!