Feature Friday! Tessen

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups participating in our in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend of up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founders: Celine Liptrot ’24, International Relations & Economics, Kilian Liptrot ’23, Law

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Liptrot: My start-up is a camera lens cap design and manufacturing company. We create innovative solutions for design flaws in today’s camera accessory industry.

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Liptrot: It initially started as an idea between the both of us that over time just became more and more of a reality with every bit of research and effort we put in. It was exciting to see it grow to a point where other people saw real potential in our product being an innovative solution to not only camera lens caps but all protective optic gear.

DC: Who or what is your biggest influence for your startup?
Liptrot: I would say that my brother is my biggest influence. I always felt this idea was an innovative and creative solution, he really transformed the idea into reality through his persistence.

DC: Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?
Liptrot: I’ve always had a love for photography, my brother is an enthusiastic hobbyist. My brother and I traveled a lot as a family when we were younger, and he was the first person to give me my first camera together we found a passion in both traveling and photography that lead us to the Tessen lens blade.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last few months?
Liptrot: So we currently have a provisional patent and are officially incorporated. We’ve had negotiations with larger design and manufacturing companies for camera accessories, but we are currently focusing on prioritizing prototyping.

DC: When it comes to your startup, how do you define success?
Liptrot: We’ve had our fair share of wins as far as pitch competitions and progress on our product are concerned. However, there have been lots of changes in the design process and business plan since we began so I would define our success as every strategic decision we’ve made to make the lens blade a more tangible reality.

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Liptrot: As someone who doesn’t have a business background, I really saw this as an opportunity to not only learn skills that add value to Tessen as a company but add value to me as a professional and entrepreneur.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Liptrot: Network and collaborate! Build relationships with like-minded individuals and mentors. Even with companies and ideas that are not directly aligned with what you’re doing, the entrepreneurship community is filled with driven and innovative personalities! Take advantage of that.

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