Diya Tekriwal ’22 and Dhilani Premaratne ’22 won first place in the eighth annual Ransom Everglades Business Challenge for their plan for HobbyBox, a monthly subscription designed to introduce teens and young adults to new hobbies. The pair topped a field of five finalist teams in the March 23 livestreamed event and the more than 40 that began the 2020-21 competition.
Each of the finalist teams presented 7-10 minute pitches to an alumni judging panel – David Schimmel ’94, Nelly Farra ’96 and A.J. Nahmad ’00 – followed by five minutes of questions. Wifi Fernandez ’05 addressed the audience while the judges deliberated.
The teams explained their plans and discussed projected audiences, start-up costs, long-term projections, primary competitors and other elements. Humanities Department Chair Jen Nero, who organizes the event with the assistance of the Network for Teaching Entrepeneurship (NFTE), noted that the primary themes of this year’s proposal – connection, creativity and community – were shaped by the pandemic.
Tekriwal and Premaratne said they would make deals with various businesses that sold hobby-type items – such as calligraphy starter sets – at wholesale pricing in exchange for distribution in one of their monthly hobby boxes. They also envisioned unveiling the upcoming boxes on social media to generate interest, and eventually scaling to various audiences: HobbyBoxes for seniors, women, etc.
Other RE finalists shared their plans during the webinar:
Rylan Sadler ’22 and Levi Gans ’22 explained their vision for Fitted Inc, an interactive virtual shopping outlet centered around fashion and designed to eliminate clothing waste.
Matthew Acosta ’22, Andres Defortuna ’22 and Martin Jaramillo ’22 described Pick up & Play!, a pick-up game and hobby app that enables users to connect – in a public or private context – to identify different sports and activities available nearby.
Amelia Fox ’22, Rebecca Gotterer ’22 and Sophie G ’22 unveiled their vision for Tell Me Your Story (TMYS), a multifaceted platform designed to support siblings of sick children.
Yasmine Zaydon ’21 shared her plan forTie Dye For Miami, atiedye apparel business that focuses on sustainability and delivering a social impact.
Faculty members Clinton Hough and Brandon King also helped put together the event.
Schimmel is founder and president of the branding consultancy And Partners; Farra, the chief operating officer of the dating app Perchance; Nahmad the president of the distributor Watsco, Inc.; and Fernandez, a Twitter public policy manager.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.