Three students from ComArtSci were recognized as semi-finalists for the 2021 Burgess New Venture Challenge. Jacqueline Maggioncalda, Mouna Zarghami, and Joshua May all advanced into the final stages of the competition, where they competed for a share of $40,000 in start-up funding.
May’s Intertwined Entertainment was honored with a People’s Choice Award at the event and earned $1000. The annual competition highlights top student entrepreneurs and celebrates Michigan State University’s growing community of innovative students. The finals took place virtually on April 1, 2021.
“This was my first competition and even though it was virtual, I had a great time meeting and speaking with other semifinalists. I loved being able to watch everyone’s videos and seeing what they had to offer,” said Mouna Zarghami.
Zarghami is a senior majoring in Creative Advertising and minoring in Entrepreneurship at ComArtSci. Zarghami is the founder of Kraze Cases, an online phone case business providing customers with durable and fashionable phone covers at a low cost.
“Over the course of quarantine in the summer, I purchased an iPad and began to draw. I knew that there was something that I could use from my [entrepreneurship] minor to benefit me as well as incorporate my passions into it and that is how it all began," said Zarghami.
Jackie Maggioncalda, a student in the M.A. in Strategic Communication program, praised the competition for its rich network of collaborators and resources, as well as helping students hone their start-up ideas.
“The BNVC virtual competition experience was terrific," said Maggioncalda. "I met MSU alumni and student entrepreneurs, and I was encouraged by three mentors and the entire Burgess team to refine my launch plan, business plan, story, and pitch deck.”
Maggioncalda’s start-up, MEND UP, is a recycled fashion lifestyle box-service that exists within a community encouraging women to put the planet and their style first.
“MEND UP is more than a curated subscription box," said Maggioncalda."It's individualized to your style and body with our unique measurement method and style at every size survey to limit clothing waste, unrealistic sizing, and body shaming.”
The students plan to continue to develop their start-up ideas further over the summer and to participate in more accelerator programs and competitions.
For more information on the Burgess New Venture Challenge, check out their full page here.
By Joe Strother