The Entrepreneurial Mindset

This story is featured in the Spring 2019 edition of the HPU Magazine. Discover below how student entrepreneurs launched their businesses while enrolled full-time. 

High Point University’s student entrepreneurs know where to channel their energy and find support.

Inside the Belk Entrepreneurship Center, students craft sound business plans, pitch to investors for startup funding, brainstorm with business owners and connect with their peers.

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and thriving at HPU. Through annual Business Plan Competitions, academic programs and experiential learning opportunities that inspire innovation, HPU graduates job creators, not job takers.

On the following pages, discover a snapshot of student business ventures that began at HPU.


Allie Bollman

Eat Safe: The Food Allergy Test Strip

HPU’s Elevator Pitch Competition, First Place, 2018

This strip tests for proteins found in one’s specific allergen. Bollman’s product will be available for the eight most common allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. This will allow allergy sufferers to test their food when eating out to prevent an allergic reaction sometimes caused by cross-contamination.






Brandon Holder

Water the World

HPU’s Business Plan Competition, First Place, 2016

HPU’s Elevator Pitch Competition, First Place, 2015

On his back porch in Clayton, North Carolina, Holder invented a portable water filter that distributes water at 5.5 gallons per minute. A filtration attachment reduces viruses, bacteria, cysts and protozoa by 99.99 percent, making virtually any water clean. It’s self-sustainable, too: It has a life span of over a decade and uses gravity to filter water. For the last three years, Holder has been securing funds from investors and sharing the devices with communities around the world that are in need.




Caitie Gehlhausen

Socket Lock-It

HPU’s Elevator Pitch Competition, Second Place, 2018

Gehlhausen developed a product for the one thing people never leave home without — their phone. Adhesive card holder or phone grip? That’s the decision people once had to make regarding which popular product they’d attach to the back of their phone until Gehlhausen invented the Socket Lock-It, allowing the consumer to use both at once. The product is a sleek card holder with a built-in slot that allows you to easily exchange your phone grips. Gehlhausen, a sophomore entrepreneurship major from Cicero, Indiana, sells her patent-pending product on her Socket Lock-It website and on Amazon and has already received an order for more than 30,000 units. For more information, visit


Carlos Caetano 


HPU Elevator Pitch Competition, Finalist, 2018

GYMART creates one place where the gym and supermarket are housed together. This reduces the amount of time people often take to travel from their gym to a grocery store, while also removing the stress of searching for healthy and organic foods. Caetano plans for his store to be divided into sections based on a desired health goal, such as a weight loss section, muscle gain section and more. The organized approach helps shoppers maximize their nutrition goals after their workout.





CeAnna Soper and Jack Micciche

Breezy Brush

HPU’s Business Plan Competition, Honorable Mention, 2018

Micciche and Soper developed the patent-pending Breezy Brush, a hairbrush she designed with air vents that vacuum as users brush their hair to minimize cleanup. Living in a residence hall with longhaired roommates sparked the idea for Soper.







Dylan Silber


HPU’s Business Plan Competition, Second Place, 2018

HPU’s Elevator Pitch Competition, Finalist, 2018

Silber’s patent-pending shoe design comes with interchangeable soles, allowing users to modify the shoe for different activities. Examples include soles specifically for running, hiking, cleats, dress wear and other styles. The shoe solves the problem of needing different pairs of shoes for different activities. It’s especially designed for adventurists and travelers in order to help them pack lighter and experience more.



Emily De Lena

Track Rabbit for DomTech

HPU’s Business Plan Competition, Third Place, 2014

HPU’s Business Plan Competition, Second Place, 2015

HPU’s Elevator Pitch Competition, Third Place, 2015

DomTech provides athletic speed and agility training solutions. As a track runner at HPU, De Lena developed the Track Rabbit, one of the company’s products that addresses the need athletes have to pace themselves during their practices. Instead of using watches, verbal signals and teammates to attempt to keep on pace, Track Rabbit allows a  runner to actually see a computer-generated line in order to know what time or distance they have beat.



Jared Brumm

Easy Reach Crutch

HPU’s Elevator Pitch Competition, Third Place, 2018

Easy Reach Crutch is a novel design for forearm crutches with added mobility, convenience and safety. After using crutches for more than a year, Brumm grew tired of the lack of mobility with his hands and arms to carry out daily tasks. His design allows crutch users to seamlessly move their arms while the crutches stay attached to them and upright by their side without the risk of falling. Brumm plans to sell the devices to medical distributors and department stores, as well as online retailers in order to improve the daily lives of the people who use walking aids.



Jenna Tarantino

HotDawg Company

HPU’s Business Plan Competition, Third Place, 2018

RIOT Business Accelerator Program Participant, 2018

The HotDawg Company is Tarantino’s umbrella company that includes products like the innovative Thermo-Leash, a retractable leash with built-in infrared technology used to measure and alert dog owners of the dangerous ground temperature to which their dog’s paws are exposed. The leash is a preventative approach to limiting burnt, blistered and infected paws caused by unsafe temperatures.





Quinn Riddle

Eversafe Bracelet

HPU’s Business Plan Competition, 2nd Place, 2018

RIOT Business Accelerator Pitch Competition Winner, 2018

The Eversafe Bracelet is 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. Riddle’s business idea originated from a class project in her Ideation and Creativity class that asked students to reflect on day-to-day frustration in which there was no solution. Babysitting rambunctious kids with no way to rein them in other than the hope of their active listening skills presented quite the frustration for Riddle. Thus, the EverSafe Bracelet was born.




Ryan Gilbert


HPU’s Business Plan Competition, First Place, 2017

Gilbert won $9,500 and first prize for the company he founded to improve storage for college students. Whether returning home for the summer or spending the semester abroad, the patent-pending Safe-Crate device simplifies the collegiate moving experience. Students sign up online to have the crate delivered to the student’s location, picked up at the desired time, stored in a secured, climate-controlled facility and returned the following semester. As the name suggests, the Safe-Crate team provides a personal service with enhanced security allowing for a stress-free move for all students.


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