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Startup Standouts

Friday, August 2, 2019
Students + Startups collage

Tigers in Students+Startups internships draw rave reviews

by Jeremy Gerlach

Trinity’s Students + Startups program has been matching Tigers with high-powered summer internships for years. Run by Trinity Entrepreneurship in partnership with the 80|20 Foundation, this initiative expanded in 2019 to encompass more than 60 student interns. 

This summer also saw multiple startups founded and run by current Tigers join the hiring side of the equation, bringing Trinity’s status as an entrepreneurship hub to a full circle.

See how Tigers in this program performed in new, exciting roles across the city of San Antonio this summer, and learn how these standouts have grown from the experience:

Brian Guerrero

Brian Guerrero ’20
Quick Sip Coffee

At Quick Sip, a cold-brew coffee startup, Guerrero was tasked with building a new smart sensor that helps the business detect when corporate clients’ kegs need a refill. This tech is helping the company maintain and expand its footprint in Austin and San Antonio.

An engineering major from Tucson, Arizona, Guerrero’s skills and work style fit in perfectly at Quick Sip, a startup that earned the title of co-champion at Trinity’s 2018 Stumberg Competition finals. It’s still run by Trinity undergrads, meaning Guerrero got to work for a team made up exclusively of current and former Tigers.

“I actually got to live with the founder, Jacob Hurrell-Zitelman, so it was weird at first, learning to flip that switch between work mode and free time,” Guerrero says. “But that’s the startup life—one day you’re planning to finish a project, then the next minute you get a call and you have to go to Austin to fix a keg for a client. The amount of care and passion that goes into a business like this, it’s just cool to be a part of.”

Daniela Molina

Daniela Molina ’20
Easy Expunctions

At Easy Expunctions, Molina spent her summer helping job seekers expunge, or clear,  minor criminal offenses from their records. This startup, founded by Trinity alumnus Youssef Kassim ’08, aims to ease access to the expunction process, a task that can be costly and complicated for people without access to a lawyer.

Molina, a business analytics and technology major from Seattle Washington, worked with the startup’s delivery team to generate legal documents for filing in court. “It’s hard to do this work in a way that’s fast, and accurate, and good,” Molina says. “But that’s a challenge I don’t shy away from, and that’s what we’re doing at Easy Expunctions.”

Molina wasn’t just a basic intern at the business: her internship gave her the chance to contribute to high-level discussions with Kassim and other company leaders.

“I love collaborating, so to work in a place where you feel like you’re being heard, that was amazing,” Molina says. “I don’t think I would have experienced anything like this if I didn’t work for Easy Expunctions.”

Thomas Lauerman works with motion sensor device

Thomas Lauerman ’21
Gait IQ

At GaitIQ, Lauerman used motion-capture equipment to fight Alzheimers.

The company uses gait analysis, or more simply, the unique way that different people walk, to create an app that could provide crucial, early diagnoses of the disease.

Thomas, a computer science major from Frisco, TX, was a perfect fit for the company’s needs. “My computer science skills are pretty much directly coming in handy,” Thomas says. “My experience has been awesome so far, on all counts.”

Estefania Canales at Tribu

Estefania Canales ’20
Tribu

Canales ’20 provided creative marketing for Tribu, a local ad agency. 

Canales is a business administration and communication double major from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and this is her first summer to work full-time in San Antonio. At Tribu, she helped win new clients through her skills on social media, event planning, website audits, and creating fresh content.

“My favorite part so far is that [Tribu] gives us a lot of creative freedom. They trust our opinions and our insight, whether it’s creating social media calendars or working with graphic designers to bring our visions to life,” Canales says. “Other internships have given me the chance to do social media work, but this is the first (time) I’ve dived into analytics, and that’s going to be so important to my work after college.”

Cannon Wilson in CSI

Cannon Wilson ’22
PATCH Technologies

Cannon Wilson ’22 helped PATCH--Pill-Administering Technology for Compliance Healthcare-- create smarter pill bottles.

PATCH, a former Stumberg Competition co-champion, is a company founded and still run by Trinity undergrads. For Wilson, PATCH is the perfect example of Trinity-style entrepreneurship: 

“Through entrepreneurship, I want to create meaningful work: a product or service that makes people’s lives easier,” Wilson says. “It’s amazing to see how a group of five people can turn a vision, a passion, into a product that will last long-term.” 

Rachel Tolbert runs bridal photoshoot

Rachel Tolbert ’20
Olivia Grace Bridal

Tolbert, a business major from Seattle, helped local brides find their dresses.

Tolbert matched with Olivia Grace Bridal, a bridal shop that emphasizes both the experience of shopping for wedding dresses, as well as making this process comfortable and inclusive for women of all body types. Here, she helped manage OGB’s Instagram and Pinterest accounts, helps handle photoshoots and consultations with brides, and helped the company prepare for events like the San Antonio Bridal Expo.

“The work never ends,” Rachel says, “and there’s not a second of downtime. Finish one project, and there’s five more waiting for you.”But the most exciting part of this—besides the fact that everyone loves brides—is I got matched with a fun environment to be around. Everyone’s so happy, people are finding their dresses, and we’re promoting really beautiful things in these people’s lives.”

Shivani Alur uses AR device

Shivani Alur ’22
Braustin Mobile Homes

Alur spent her summer using augmented reality and virtual reality to help homebuyers explore new homes.  At Braustin, she was charged with creating a pop-up location inside a local grocery store for the startup to implement this technology.

“When you’re working with a startup, you have the opportunity to work in so many more fields and fill so many more roles,” Alur says. “This is such an immersive way to view a business—it’s been a phenomenal experience.”

Alur wants to become a management consultant after graduating, and says she’s learned a meaningful lesson from her time with Braustin. “You can build a business on doing good for people, doing good for your employees, and for your community.”

Jenna Flexner sits on meditation cushion

Jenna Flexner ’20
Mello{be}

When most accounting and finance double majors talk about an “S-curve”, they typically mean sales growth. For Flexner, it means a healthy spinal curve.

This summer, Jenna interned at mello{be}, a company that produces meditation cushions aimed at improving your posture. At the startup, founded by RN Julia Bates, Jenna runs social media, works on the company website, helps with software, and is establishing accounting procedures for inventory.

“I've absolutely loved my time with mello{be}. It’s been extremely rewarding, not only getting hands-on experience with accounting for small businesses, but also being able to be creative in my role through content creation and website development.”

Carson Bolding in office

Carson Bolding ’21
The Impact Guild

At the Impact Guild, Bolding helped San Antonio entrepreneurs find their calling.

The Impact Guild is a startup that runs a coworking space in the heart of the Beacon Hill neighborhood. The company bills itself as “a collective of individuals, coming together in our own crafts and professions to work in a shared space from artisans to entrepreneurs, non-profits to for-profits.”

Bolding, an economics and communication double major, says the experience she’s getting from Students+Startups will help her pursue a career in public policy research.

“The best part of working here is being surrounded everyday by entrepreneurs who care about social impact and learning about the work they are doing to better their community.”

Emily Rech holds dog gift box

Emily Rech ’20
Willie & Roo

At Willie & Roo Rech spent her summer helping promote animal wellness. This startup makes customized subscription boxes for pet owners. 

Rech, a communication major from Houston, also volunteers with animal shelters, so this internship was a natural fit. She even got to help deliver the boxes. “The co-founders are really cool, and really inviting,” Emily says. “Working here has been really exciting.”

Rech helped with marketing ideas and content creation, and designing social media advertisements. 

“When you get an internship like this, you also learn how to spend those eight hours actually doing the job, structuring your work time,” Rech says.