“Any free food today?”
“Nope, not today. You missed the brownies yesterday!” I hear some variation of this conversation every week at the coworking space I work for in Charlotte called Hygge (hoo-ga). And to the 10 student-entrepreneurs participating in the ImpactU accelerator this summer, I’m known as “free food” girl.
ImpactU has mentored companies in Charlotte each of the last three summers. The program is aimed toward young entrepreneurs, mostly college-age, who come in during the prototype stage of their business. The accelerator is organized by Queen City Forward, a non-profit focused on social entrepreneurship, and last Thursday night, five companies graduated from the summer program.
During their time at Hygge, these startups grew their businesses with the help of QCF mentors, learned the many facets of entrepreneurship and developed a nose for free food in the Hygge kitchen.
Seven companies were admitted to the program, but two dropped out before it finished.
If you missed ImpactU Demo Day, here are the final companies:
While I have never applied to medical school, I’ve heard the process is quite difficult. In fact, it’s even more difficult than I imagined.
MedServe co-founder Patrick O’Shea applied to med schools twice and was denied twice. And he was denied because he didn’t have enough clinical experience, which is hard to come by. Though he was eventually accepted to UNC’s school of medicine, he and co-founder Anne Steptoe, who he met through the MBA program at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, were inspired to start a business to help prepare students for med school. MedServe matches students with primary care physicians in underserved communities (Think Teach for America) over a two-year period, so they can get that critical clinical experience.
It’s a cost-sharing structure where clinics invest time, resources and money in fellows, while MedServe matches them with philanthropic community projects. This month, 13 fellows began the program, but MedServe wants to serve more. Demand was higher than the number they could serve.
Since working in Charlotte, MedServe landed a partnership with Carolinas Healthcare. Now, O’Shea, Steptoe and their team want to expands to other regions and primary care work forces. MedServe is looking for more community partners, clinics in the Charlotte-area and Western Carolina and more philanthropic sources invested in improving healthcare.