Allie Davenport wants to help others improve their mental health and well-being. This is the principle behind her company, her self-development brand, StarMind, whose first product, her The Guide, explores self-development principles through integrated QR codes, daily logs, and reflective activities. Introducing Mindset in her journal.
“The concept of personal development and mental health has stuck with me for a long time,” Davenport says of the inspiration behind StarMind. “I wanted to create a product that would help others step into the world of self-development.”
The Davenport concept was the winner of this year’s Get Seeded Demo Day on April 19th. His Demo Day, now in its second year, is the culmination of UConn’s Get Seeded program.
Jennifer Mathieu, executive director of the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI), explains:
Get Seeded hosts a series of pitch nights throughout the academic year. These events give student entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their innovative ideas and earn seed funding. At Demo Day, five of his teams that pitched at one of his pitch nights are invited to present to a panel of alumni judges in a competition to win additional seed funding.
Demo Days also provide students with an opportunity to assess their personal growth as they refine concepts and hone their entrepreneurial skills, says Peter J. Worth, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. David Noble says.
“This is an opportunity for students to showcase their progress since their first prize from Get Seeded,” he says. “It’s a chance to show people what they do instead of standing in front of them and talking about things.”
Davenport, who is also part of the Werth Innovative Leadership Development Program’s Freshmen Female Founders pilot cohort, says seeing her progress has given her confidence.
“I attended pitch nights for freshman female founders, Get Seeded pitch nights, demo days,” she says. “It’s been great to see how much she has grown in this past year, improving her pitch, honing her communication skills, and building her confidence. I am sitting.”
Alumni judges play a key role in the Demo Day experience, providing insight, feedback, and support. This kind of mentorship is very important, says Matthew.
“I believe that no entrepreneur can succeed without a team of advisors and, most importantly, the mentors who have helped them along their journey,” she says. “Especially programs like Get Seeded.” So I think it’s essential to get guidance in the very early stages of entrepreneurship.”
Noble agrees. “The Werth Institute and his CCEI offer access to different types of mentors,” he says. “These relationships change over time, but they are the most important aspect of student entrepreneurship.”
Natalie Lacroix and Eva Quigley, who won their nutrition and protein bar Reach Bar at Demo Day 2021, feel well supported as student entrepreneurs at UConn.
“Through the Werth Institute, CCEI, and our learning community programs, everyone at UConn wants you to succeed,” says Quigley.
“UConn was the perfect place for us to jump right in and provide a safety net to explore and understand new things,” says Lacroix. “You have given us all these resources and a great opportunity to grow, build and prepare for a great future.”
“I think it’s very important to invest in the future of entrepreneurs, both at UConn and beyond,” says Matthew. “If you’re interested in providing support in both time and resources, I can’t think of a better way to do it than Get Seeded: Demo Day.”