HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 23, 2018 – High Point University Junior Quinn Riddle and her business, Eversafe, won the statewide RIoT Accelerator Program pitch competition, held in Raleigh on Aug. 21.
Riddle was one of only 10 business owners from across the state who were selected to participate in RIoT Accelerator Program, along with 2018 HPU graduate Jenna Tarantino. Riddle and Tarantino were among the youngest entrepreneurs in the three-month program, which was held throughout the summer.
The event culminated with a competition where participants pitched their company to an audience of 500 people and answered questions from a panel of judges. The judges selected Riddle as the winner based on her product’s viability when it goes to market and her company’s scalability.
Riddle, from Annapolis, Maryland, invented the Eversafe Bracelet, a band that wears like a bracelet to help parents, babysitters and chaperones keep track of children in crowded situations such as playgrounds, airports, festivals or theme parks.
“Quinn is extremely smart, coachable, eager to learn and driven to succeed,” said Tom Snyder, executive director of RIoT. “She recognized that to be successful, she needed to broaden her professional network and find partners and collaborators. She has learned that hard work and intelligence trump age and prior experience. She’s solving an important problem and took the time to speak with customers to understand how to solve that problem in a sustainable way.”
At RIoT, Riddle and Tarantino, founder of the HotDawg Company, learned throughout the summer from the founders of successful startup companies and focused on major aspects of building a sustainable business.
“I was the only college student-led team, and I’m just very grateful for the experience, the resources and the mentors I gained through RIoT,” says Riddle. “They’ve shown me that hard work does pay off if you are willing to take advantage of the opportunities around you and build relationships with the people in front of you. As long as I demonstrate that I’m always willing to learn and work hard, I know RIoT will continue to support me in the future.”
Riddle, who began her junior year at HPU this week, is continuing to build her company and working with an engineer on product development.
“My idea stemmed from being at the playground while babysitting my cousins,” says Riddle. “There were three of them between the ages of 4 and 6, so it was challenging to track all of them at once. Eversafe works to make that possible. My product also provides a locking technology that prevents the bracelet from being removed and the ability for parents to send their child messages on the bracelet.”
HPU mentors have not only helped Riddle build her business, but they’ve also helped her prepare for opportunities like RIoT and the pitch competition. Both Riddle and Tarantino pitched their ideas and gained feedback from Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph, HPU’s Entrepreneur in Residence, on campus in the spring. Riddle also competed in HPU’s Elevator Pitch Competition and won $1,500.
“Quinn won the RIoT competition despite not being a tech person,” says Troy Knauss, HPU assistant professor of the practice of entrepreneurship and one of Riddle’s mentors. “She also won the competition despite being a college student while competing against experienced entrepreneurs, and she has made HPU proud.”