3 Must-Do's After Winning Seed Money

Student Success Story - Hannah Anderson

Every school year, the Entrepreneurship Institute awards seed money to dozens of student startups. But what happens from there? What do students do after that? Hannah Anderson and Hannah Allen were faced with these same questions after winning money from Seed for Startups in November 2019. Since then, they’ve been plowing ahead with their vision for their company AlterRing which makes rings with interchangeable stones. Here are three things they’re doing that we believe are great places to start after winning your first seed money:

 

1. Find a mentor

alterring1After pitching at Seed for Startups, AlterRing was invited to pitch again at a networking event called Pitch! here at UVU where students pitch to a room full of investors and industry experts who love to help student entrepreneurs. This was a lot of pitching for two students who had never pitched before, but they boldly did it anyway, explaining that it helped them get out of their comfort zone and maintain passion for their idea. At the event, they met several people who were interested in their productidea, which gave them a confidence boost. They also received some helpful critiques and set up appointments to meet with those who wanted to help them. Between the new help and their existing mentor, Corbin Church, a BYU professor and expert in the jewelry industry, they are setting themselves up for success.

 

2. Build your team

Right now they are in the process of creating the mechanism for their rings with help from a mechanical engineer. To round out their team, they also have a graphic designer helping them with a logo and branding. Eventually, they will cast the first prototype of their product and maybe even patent their unique idea. Along with a lack of funding, making the mechanism is proving to be one of their biggest challenges because they’ve been printing in plastic to save money. Plastic doesn’t hold up or act the same way metal does, so testing their product has been tricky. With the team of support and talent they are building, they are one step closer to having their first prototype! 

 

3. Keep on keepin’ on

Roadblocks are a part of the entrepreneurial process. Both girls believe entrepreneurs can be grown as they learn to be creative and think outside the box. They’ve had their hesitations, but they believe in what they’re doing and continue to stick with it even when things don’t work out the first time. They just keep on keepin’ on.

alterring2Anderson, a junior soon-to-be Public Relations major at UVU, and Allen, a business student at BYU, are not approaching their company from a get rich quick mindset. While having the idea was just something that happened, they actually strongly believe in their idea and in what makes them different. The ability to twist stones off and on sets them apart because nothing like it exists with organic stones. To further differentiate themselves, they like to approach it from a holistic angle, where each of the stones has a meaning. They want to make quality, durable products people will love and use. 

Andreson admits that while she didn’t consider herself an entrepreneur at first, upon reflecting on her childhood, she realized she has always been starting her own businesses. From selling lemonade or girl scout cookies to going door to door and offering to wash cars, she loves creating things and connecting with people. Her advice for other student entrepreneurs is to just run with it! “If you feel like your idea is valid and then you go and you ask some people what they think and they also think it’s valid then I think you should just run with it.” 

 

You can follow AlterRing’s progress on Instagram (@alterring.co) where they will be posting the behind the scenes of making the product and glimpses into future updates. Eventually, they will post where to buy their products and how to get to their website.

Seed for Startups Spring 2020 is coming up on March 11th! Register to attend or sign up to pitch your idea (active UVU students only).