CofC class helps students create startup companies

CofC class helps students create startup companies
Published: Jan. 29, 2015 at 11:47 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new class at the College of Charleston could be helping student to build the next billion dollar startup company.

It's part of the college's new ICAT program, which ICAT stands for International Cross-Curricular Accelerator for Technology. It means the class creates both company developers and companies themselves.

"I think this is the future wave," Dr. Christopher Starr, the program's director said. "We are not focusing company formation around traditional mom and pop organizations like a coffee shop or a donut house. We want is a scalable app which means the application is accessible by all 7 billion people who have access to a phone."

The class helps the students for groups of three. It's unique because it pulls together a business student, a liberal arts student and computer science student to make a presentation.

The groups get mentors, which are professionals from local companies like Boeing or Benefitfocus who help the companies grow even more.

"It's great way for me to get my ideas out there and the teaching I need to get it on the road," Anna Baginski, a liberal arts student in the class said.

Baginski's team is working on an app to help find parking.

"I think that'll be really cool and really applicable to the Charleston area, but I see it going a lot farther than that."

The winning team gets $10,000 that's provided from a state grant.

"We are not promising the students that they will become rich," Starr said.

"For us, we would love to get an app out there and that's our goal, but if that doesn't happen, it would be great to just learn a bunch of things about how to do a business."

This year the class had more than 60 applications for around 20 spots. Dr. Starr says they plan to make room for more than 90 next year.

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