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Hampshire Students Recognized at Grinspoon Virtual Celebration of Entrepreneurial Spirit

Four Hampshire College students received recognition at the first Grinspoon Virtual Celebration of Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Julia Griner
Julia Griner 18F

Four Hampshire College students received recognition at the first Grinspoon Virtual Celebration of Entrepreneurial Spirit. The event was hosted on April 28 with over 250 guests in virtual attendance, including college presidents, faculty, entrepreneurs, investors, and students. The event, hosted by the Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) and usually held as an in-person banquet, recognized student entrepreneurs from 14 local colleges and universities who have persisted with their ventures during this challenging year.  The evening included live pitch finals, stories from student entrepreneurs, celebration of award recipients, and an online entrepreneurship gallery showcase.

Sofia Cappello 17F received a Spirit Award for her family-founded business The Golden Stitch LA, which creates one-of-a-kind custom eco-friendly dog clothing and accessories for furry family members. Spirit Awards are given to students whose ventures are generating revenue.

Recipients of Concept Awards for pre-revenue stage ventures were Julia Griner 18F for Simple Syntax, an educational coding website that introduces higher-level programming concepts in order to prepare younger children for more advanced computer science courses, and Robert Mueller 18F for Rare Breed Ratters, which proposes using rare breed working dogs for small animal control on farms and other businesses in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Cappello and Griner also received awards for the quality of their gallery presentations.

In addition to the awards, Hampshire was represented by first-year student Sunniva Rose Harnisch 20F, who showcased her inclusive and eco-friendly crocheted fashions, RosyCrochets, during the live pitch competition. Harnisch was one of the eight finalists in the competition, and her creations can be seen on her Instagram, @rosycrochets.

Hampshire Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator and Grinspoon EI advisor Roxanne Finn commented, “Despite Hampshire having a smaller student body with respect to other institutions in the consortium, we had an outsized and significant presence at this event. I am continually impressed with the ability of Hampshire students to take initiative and be entrepreneurial, and to apply that in meaningful and ethical ways.”

This event and the Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative were founded and are supported by The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF), which supports local education, farming, energy, and entrepreneurship initiatives in the Western Massachusetts region.

Pictured in first slide: Robert Mueller 18F
Pictured in second slide: Sunniva Rose Harnisch 20F

Robert Mueller 18F Sunniva Rose Harnisch 20F
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