You are here: » » » Meet the candidates: Campus Socialite’s ‘Campus Tycoon’ Award

Meet the candidates: Campus Socialite’s ‘Campus Tycoon’ Award

April 6, 2011

Voting has begun in the first Campus Socialite Awards, and we’re proud to be sponsoring the search for this year’s Campus Tycoon. To name the winner, they’re looking through “the most creative and innovative business minds on college campuses today.” Today, The Campus Socialite introduces us to the first five candidates:

Alex Goldstein, University of Wisconsin: College Travel Experts (Badger Trips)

Q: What was the inspiration behind your idea?

A: I have always approached the world with an entrepreneurial point of view. When I was a sophomore, I saw a high demand of students who wanted to go to University of Michigan for an away football game. I organized buses to the event and made a simple one-page website. It wasn’t until after running the trip that I realized the potential of providing transportation for college kids to away football games and other events. From there, we began to organize full weekends filled with parties and deals at bars and restaurants. We also provided hotels for people who did not have friends at the school we went to. We have continued to raise the bar by chartering planes to away football games in Las Vegas and to Pasadena, Calif. for the Rose Bowl. We will continue to raise the bar–providing new and fun trips for our customers, while keeping customer satisfaction as the measuring stick of our success.

Q: Given an unlimited budget, what two advances would come first for your business?

A: College Travel Experts private jet. It would be ideal to have our own private jet to travel to all CTE campuses to promote our amazing travel opportunities.  This is a tough question, and although our destinations change from trip to trip and from year to year, I would like to have one specific CTE headquarters. For example, to have a CTE island such as Richard Branson’s private island would be very cool. We would bring all of our team members to this island for training and rewards.

Q: If a biography was written about your life to date, what would the title be and why?

A: Don’t Let School Interfere with Your Education. Although growing this business has consumed so much of my life in college, it has taught me a lot more than I could have learned in a classroom. Although we always worked hard at Badger Trips and CTE , we always made sure it was fun. Everyone that has been involved with the business can agree — we get our stuff done, but we do it in a way that’s fun for us and our customers.

Maurice Elliott, University of Arkansas: Fayettechill

Q: What was the inspiration behind your idea?

A: The Ozark Mountains. There was no brand or company that represented one of the most beautiful areas in the nation.

Q: If a biography was written about your life to date, what would the title be and why?

A: Idea to Reality. In a nutshell that is what I have done multiple times now from my three startups. Which is I have an idea and I make it realty from my knowledge of business and experiences. What separates me from 99% of my peers is that If I think I have a viable idea I will pursue it. With planning out a new venture there is only so much that a person can forecast. One actually has to get their hands dirty and build something out of nothing.

Q: If you could have any two people, dead or alive, on your board of directors who would they be and why?

A: (1) Ralph Lauren – His knowledge of the clothing industry and his ability to create a successful lifestyle product. (2) Guy Kawasaki – His extensive knowledge of business and venture capital.

Max Arndt, University of Minnesota: Toepener

Q: What was the inspiration behind your idea?

A: In the beginning of our Entrepreneurship in Action class last fall, we were split into small teams and asked to brainstorm different things that we were interested in, problems that we saw or trends that we recognized in the marketplace. One problem that was recognized was peoples’ concern with touching the door handle when exiting a public restroom. One of many creative ways the people have come up with to avoid this problem is to use an extra paper towel to touch the handle, which creates excess waste. So the question was posed, “Can we come up with a better way?” and the concept of the Toepener™ was born. The Toepener™ is a simple device that attaches to the bottom of a door, directly below the door handle. It enables a person to open a door using only their foot. It is currently available for sale on our website,

Q: If you could have any two people, dead or alive, on your board of directors who would they be and why?

(1) Jim Skinner, President and CEO of McDonald’s – 30,000+ Locations with at least two bathroom doors each? You do the math. (2) Thomas Edison – Phenomenal ideator and engineer, holder of 1,093 patents. He could bring a lot to the team.

Q: What is your primary social media medium used to reach your target demographic?

A: We pursue our end-users via social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, etc. in order to create awareness about the Toepener™, but our consumers (who are different than the end-users) don’t have a large presence in social media, so we have pursued more traditional channels like direct selling and editorials in trade publications to reach them.

Bryan Roy, University of Arizona: Check

Q: What was the inspiration behind your idea?

A: You’re sitting around or getting prepped for the weekend when 9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m. rolls around. You wonder “what’s going on tonight?” and send that exact text to a handful of friends in all different social circles. Some go out to the bars. Others to house parties. Some text you back with a soft answers. Others text you back with another question: “Hey I just got (here), but you’re (there), how is it (there?) we might go (somewhere else) because (someone) said it was (something).”

Not only do you want an effortless glimpse at the most popular spots, but let’s add a road map of who’s there: Think she’s cute? Check her. Recognize him from class? Check him. Our internal messaging system builds a truly social network that allows users to explore and engage what’s happening around them.

It’s your night, but we’ll help create it.

Q: Given an unlimited budget, what two advances would come first for your business?

A: Hiring people. Everybody has ideas, but only the ambitious hustlers actually execute, and the only way to succeed is surrounding yourself with the right ones. We welcome anyone with a background in computer science, data management and business development only if you know how to hit the ground sprinting through hurdles.

Q: When an NFL player wins the Super Bowl, he says that he is going to Disneyland. If you win the Campus Socialite Award for Best Entrepreneur, where will you go and why?

A: Hands down, SXSW. It’s described as a college freshman orientation if your school was Disney World and your peers were America’s most innovative nerds.

Daniel Pearson, University of Central Michigan: The Hybrid Card Company

Q: What was the inspiration behind your idea?

A: My inspiration behind every business venture I’m involved in is my love for things that are truly unique. The feeling I get from working with a team to create something that can have an impact on our world much larger than myself is indescribable. The pay isn’t bad either.

Q: If you could have any two people, dead or alive, on your board of directors who would they be and why?

A: I would love to have worked with Andrew Carnegie because he was so great at allocating his resources effectively. His fortune still works for the common good. He was responsible for the development of over 2500 public libraries throughout the world; that fascinates me. I would do anything to have Warren Buffett on my board as well. He not only has amazing business acumen, but he is also very socially conscious. I don’t think many people in our world would be able to responsibly handle the kind of wealth that man has.

Q: If asked you to apply as an Intern for Charlie Sheen using only 140 characters and a hashtag, what would your tweet be?

A: Senior in College. Veteran in Business. Outlaw in Bed. #howsthatforwinning

To cast your vote, head over to The Campus Socialite’s fan page. And check back next week for the other five candidates.

Leave a Comment