To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Dingman Center is featuring a series of blog posts about our EnTERPreneur Acadmey, a program to help guide student ventures from idea to launch. The Academy provides members with a variety of resources including startup fundamentals workshops, advising, office space, selling opportunities and seed funding. The Academy’s three stages Idea Shell, Hatch and Terp Startup provide students with specific resources and requirements that suit the level of progress for their ventures.
Today’s feature is AquaSwitch, a product created by EnTERPreneur Academy member, Aashay Doshi. Aashay is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland who has taken advantage of several of programs offered by the Dingman Center, including an entrepreneurial class and JumpStart. Aashay’s current entrepreneurial venture is AquaSwitch, a bottle that allows a user to carry two different liquids at the same time. Read the Q&A to find out more about Aashay and his business, AquaSwitch!
Q: Please describe your business.
A: AquaSwitch is a unique dual compartment bottle that facilitates the portability and storage of two different liquids at the same time. Our intricate engineering and detailed design ensures no mixing of liquids and no change in temperature. Water and Gatorade, water and juice, water and protein shake–whatever the combination may be, AquaSwitch provides a convenient solution to do so. We aim to provide a convenient, cost effective and stylish solution to diverse hydration requirements.
Q: How did you get the idea for your business?
A: My business idea stemmed out of a class project at UMD. Our assignment was to think of business ideas and form teams to draft papers for the class. However, I decided to take this process to the next level and work on actually launching a product.
Q: In what phase is your venture and what are your next steps?
A: We are in the test marketing phase. We have our preliminary designs and we need to test a sample market to see if we need to make changes to the bottle. Our next step is to get a production run going so we have enough bottles to test with a representative sample.
Q: As a student start-up, what are some of the challenges you face?
A: The biggest challenge as a student entrepreneur is to gather funds. Because college students like us are poor, it is hard to get investments for our passions. In addition, the deteriorating economy pushes us to look for jobs thereby diverting our attention from our passion. Money is by far the biggest problem.
Q: What part of being in the EnTERPreneur Academy excites you most?
A: The EnTERPreneur Academy provides an extremely exciting and conducive environment for budding entrepreneurs to connect and develop together. What excites me most is the networking and professional development potential the Academy provides. It is an absolute pleasure to brainstorm with fellow innovators.
Stay tuned for the next EA company!