Exemplary Student Entrepreneurs

Tammy Y. Allen, Director, Marketing Communications & Programs|The NIIC

In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we want to share with you about some exemplary student entrepreneurs we’ve seen through The NIIC Student Venture Lab Program.

Meet Mitchell Skees. The high-schooler co-founded a software development and apps company, 3B Apps with his brother, Connor. 3B Apps builds custom branded mobile ordering applications for restaurants. The goal is to give small to medium sized restaurants the technology that matches their large chain competitors and help them stay relevant in an increasingly mobile world, without having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While 3B Apps is all about high-tech, Spread the Sparkle, LLC is all about high-touch. The company was started when Jentri Cripe was 16. She met a person named Becky Fields who was fighting terminal breast cancer and inspired her to create the business. Cripe said the woman faced cancer with the most grace and optimism that she felt compelled to create a line of clothing that reflected that.

When clothing is purchased, it is meant to be gifted to those affected and brighten their day—hence the business’s name. Cripe has continued to “spread the sparkle” while growing her business through participation in the NIIC’s SVL Program. The 2017 Mirro Student Founder Award was presented to Cripe earlier this year.

We applaud you and the many student entrepreneurs in our region! If you are you a student entrepreneur with your own company or an idea to start one, join us in celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017. Connect with like-minded individuals. You can learn about this week’s events on our website.


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