UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur: Terry College models seminar series after American Idol format

UGA's Next Top Entrepreneur: Terry College models seminar series after American Idol format and launches eight businesses with $212,000 in revenue

April 30, 2009

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Athens, Ga. - Krasidy LLC, a student-created, software development company whose product Studio App has generated more than $30,000 in revenue in eight weeks was named the winner of UGA's Next Top Entrepreneur competition.

Both a competition and seminar series, UGA's Next Top Entrepreneur is hosted by the Terry College of Business and is open to all University of Georgia students. Modeled after the popular TV show American Idol, it began in October with 114 students participating in a series of interactive seminars and individual coaching sessions. The field was eventually narrowed to eight teams that presented their business plans before a panel of experts. Krasidy was named the winner on April 16.

"So many people have an idea or the desire to be an entrepreneur, but they just don't know how," said Terry Entrepreneur-in-Residence Rob Bearden of Benchmark Capital, who led seminars and coached teams throughout the process. "We showed them how to research an idea, develop a business plan, and pitch it to potential investors. I'm impressed with the results, and more importantly, with the future potential of this competition."

The idea for Krasidy was developed by undergraduate students Hayden Kramer and Wesley Miller. They won a $500 cash prize from Bearden based on the strength of its first product, StudioApp, which retails for $7.99 and allows users to record their voices over instrumentals and mute, delete or layer vocals in a single song.

"Our belief is that everyone is a musician. If you don't sing karaoke, you sing in the shower or the car. You may not be that serious about it, but everybody does it," said Kramer about StudioApp, which is ranked No. 6 on the iTunes' "Top Music Application" list with over 3,000 user downloads and was featured in its "New and Noteworthy" section. "The market is catering to experienced musicians with high-end software, and we feel everyone else is overlooked."

Chris Hanks, who directs the Terry Entrepreneurship Program, said Krasidy wasn't the only winner. Eight businesses were launched with $212,000 in revenue generated to date, including second-place finisher Anofit, a company that coordinates personal training and group fitness instructors for apartments, condos, and housing communities and recently closed on funding from an angel investor.

"I am quite impressed with our results, and we will continue to work with these businesses as they grow. This competition is one of the reasons why there is no better place to be than the University of Georgia for those interested in entrepreneurship," said Hanks.

The Entrepreneurship Program was established by the Terry College of Business to provide an outstanding entrepreneurship curriculum, mentoring by the most seasoned entrepreneurs in the Southeast, networking opportunities, practical seminars and an array of other resources designed to inspire, teach and serve entrepreneurs and those who hope to be.

 

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