Brian Summerhill chose to launch his business idea through Start Co.
before he was accepted into the accelerator program. His idea was based on the realization that school guidance counselors, with an average caseload of 500 students, are struggling to help their students find the right college fit. He developed MyCollegeSTREAM
as a web application that helps guidance counselors get students engaged in the college search process by using college social media.
“Seventy-five percent of high school students research college on social media, and there are plenty of accounts floating around across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. MyCollegeSTREAM has found a way to harness these accounts onto one platform, making them easily accessible to students so that when they visit their guidance counselor, they will have a better idea of the college they are considering, as well as potential majors and future careers,” explained Summerhill.
Right now the team is comprised of the co-founders: Summerhill as CEO, Bryant Warren as Chief Technology Officer and Tony Malone as Chief Marketing Officer. Both Warren and Malone are seasoned entrepreneurs who have been running their
own companies, Memphix Web Design and TMalone Marketing, respectively, for more than ten years.
The startup is looking for an investment of $300,000 to reach 150 High Schools within their first year. They have interest from investors, as well as school districts who could implement MyCollegeSTREAM in their schools.
“Three years ago I had an idea–one of many–that I wanted to create a business around, but didn't know where to go,” recalled Summerhill. "After some short Google search about Memphis entrepreneurship, I ran across Start Co., which was called Launch Memphis at the time. So I drove downtown one morning and talked to Eric Mathews. He hooked me up with a mentor, Al Pickett, and encouraged me to come in for office hours where I could work on my idea within their environment. I was and still am working full-time at FedEx, but whenever I could, I would stop by to work on my idea. The environment and feedback I received quickly became an addiction.”
“Fast forward a few years, I finally was able to build a team around my idea and get accepted into the Start Co. SkyHigh Accelerator. The experience was amazing and transformed my idea into a business that we can now capitalize on and impact the community.”
The future for MyCollegeSTREAM is bright. Their goal is to enlighten and impact the kids from Memphis by educating them about their post high school options using social media.
“We plan on expanding to other regions and states but we will always be in Memphis, because we are from Memphis,” concluded Summerhill.
This story is part of a series on last month's Demo Day, an event showcasing graduating startup teams from Start Co. and ZeroTo510.