The College’s ICAT program encourages entrepreneurship

While some students are either slumming in the library or are drunkenly swaggering their way from one party to another, the students in the ICAT program at the College of Charleston are promoting their own businesses and ideas at networking events and business conferences.

Three students with a brilliant idea are Karisha Desai, Culley Deisinger and Bryan Ko. Although majoring in different subjects, they were brought together by the ICAT program. Through the program, they have the opportunity to create a website and social media outreach, pitch their ideas to developers and investors interested in sponsoring their project. “The aim of the class this semester is to create a business or innovation that would help achieve the millenium development goals of the United Nations, so it’s really cool that we have to make something that will make a difference,” says Desai.

The team say that the ICAT program, which may soon be renamed to ImpactX, was instrumental in inspiring and helping them launch their idea for an app that would help citizens know more about their representatives, political issues and popular opinion on issues. However, the team is in the process of redoing their business idea. “Everyone is so passionate and so driven to make their ideas and businesses a reality. It makes you want to be passionate and driven too, which is an amazing experience that I would recommend for any student of any major,” says Ko.

Deisenger and Ko also agree that the program is a great opportunity for students. “I had no interest in politics before joining this class, but now I am very involved in marketing and networking for this idea” says Deisinger.

The ImpactX program is a six credit course open to all majors and encourages students to start a new business. Throughout the semester, students receive assistance with creating and launching their business, and have the opportunity to meet with developers, investors, entrepreneurs and make other valuable connections. At the beginning of the course, students receive $750 to carry out an idea, and have the chance to compete for $10,000 and the opportunity to present an idea to the United Nations at the end of the semester. Applications for the program are closed for next semester, but will open in the fall for students to enter for Spring 2019.


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Sarah Shtessel is a junior double majoring in Political Science and Economics and works as a staff writer for CisternYard Media. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, she uses her free time to read, spend time with friends, and going to art galleries in Charleston.

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