LOS ANGELES – November 12, 2019 –
USC Marshall School of Business student startup
Credit Starter won the top prize of $25,000 and additional growth-accelerating resources from
last week’s LaunchPad Propel event in New York.
In total, four USC Marshall student entrepreneur teams – Credit Starter, AmbassCo,
Overlooked, Inc., and Atomus – competed in the third annual LaunchPad Propel, an innovative
program aimed at supercharging collegiate entrepreneurs from across the Blackstone
LaunchPad powered by Techstars global network. These Trojan entrepreneur teams pitched
their businesses before a panel of judges in order to win $25,000 in cash and prizes plus other
resources to accelerate their ventures’ growth.
During the two-day event convening in New York, student entrepreneurs from more than 20
campuses across the U.S. and Ireland gained access to world-class speakers and subject
matter experts from the Blackstone and Techstars network of mentors, executives, and
advisors. Blackstone President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Gray and founders including
Plated CEO Josh Hix, Warby Parker co-CEO Neil Blumenthal, The Muse CEO Kathryn
Minshew will help students grow and shape their businesses for greater future success.
“The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by TechStars has been instrumental in helping provide
many of the resources to help all of our Trojan startups grow to their full potential,” said James
Bottom, Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at USC. “USC consistently has some of the best
teams presenting at this annual event and they are being measured against the best ventures
that they global network has to offer.”
“It’s no wonder that in the last month alone, ventures founded by USC students, faculty, staff
and alumni have raised over $450 million in venture capital,” added Bottom.
The USC Marshall teams competing included:
– Credit Starter, led by founders Michael Broughton, Melaine Jiang, and Ayush Jain, is a
platform that helps students build their credit using non-traditional data points. Students
sign up on the platform in 30 seconds, and Credit Starter continuously reports their
tuition/rent and creditworthy data to the Credit Bureaus over time, helping build their
credit score. Students with no credit score saw their score increase to a 650-680 within
two weeks, while students with a history already saw increases from 50-120 points.
– AmbassCo, led by Maxine Marcus (Founder & CEO), Ava Mar (VP of Ambassador
Operations), and Sofia Miller (Business Development & Client Management), is a teen
consulting, and feedback company that takes an authentic look into the every-day lives
of trendsetting teens to provide direct insights on products, marketing strategies, brands,
and general market research questions.
– Overlooked, Inc., led by George Sehremelis, aims to build the social news network that
ends fake news.
– Atomus, led by Joel Joseph and Kaushal Saraf, is building the Spotify of 3D printing and
currently has the US Military using its product operationally as its first customer.
“In the ten years since we started LaunchPad, we have seen incredible entrepreneurs, ideas
and companies emerge from college campuses all over the world,” said Amy Stursberg,
executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Our Blackstone and Techstars
mentors are excited to work with the exceptional students participating in this year’s Propel
Anyone interested in receiving additional updates regarding the entrepreneurial environmental
at USC can subscribe to the Incubate USC weekly newsletter at incubate.usc.edu.
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