MSESI Students Win First Place at LMU Startup Weekend
Three graduate students from LMU’s M.S. in Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Innovation (MSESI) program, won first place at LMU Startup Weekend in fall 2022 for their business idea, Mutually Made, an online marketplace selling homemade goods where 10% of purchases go to support a mutual cause.
Danyelle Chota, Alexander Moore and Nicolas Marten earned several prizes as part of their big win, including a $5,200 package from O&A, a venture and corporate law firm; access to a $200 venture law class; and a $2,700 safety and debt agreement to cover legal fees, in exchange for a future stake in the company.
The idea for Mutually Made was born after Moore's friend had an anxiety-inducing medical incident on campus and realized there was a need for a safety net. The MSESI students developed the business throughout the school year and are in the process of figuring out their value proposition with stakeholders. They plan to officially launch in fall 2023.
Before enrolling in the MSESI program, Chota earned a degree in kinesiology science from Boise State University, worked in the medical industry, managed a gym, and started a food truck business. Moore, originally from Germany, studied international business and marketing before discovering a passion for sustainability. Marten received his undergraduate degrees in psychology and math from LMU. The three entrepreneurs may have diverse backgrounds, but they share a passion for sustainability and making a positive impact on their community.
Each had different reasons for choosing the MSESI program. Moore was drawn to the program's focus on sustainability and creating a force of good in the community. Chota valued the program’s mission and values, partnerships and networking opportunities. Marten appreciated MSESI’s holistic approach to sustainability – specifically, how the program goes beyond just environmental sustainability to include financial and community sustainability.
The team credits the MSESI program, the College of Business Administration, and LMU for helping them get Mutually Made off the ground. Professor David Choi, who encouraged them to pursue entrepreneurship, was described as a "blessing in disguise." They urge others to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and pitch their new business ideas, emphasizing that you never know who might see potential in your venture.
“Mutually Made embodies the values of the MSESI program and the LMU community,” said Chota. “We were able to utilize and apply what we learned in the classroom by putting it into practice in the real world.”
With the team's passion for sustainability, dedication to their community, and entrepreneurial spirit, it’s no surprise they are on the path to success.