We’re celebrating Indiana University student innovators and entrepreneurs who are clients of the Shoebox, the university’s student-startup incubator. Located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center in Luddy Hall, the Shoebox provides 24/7 office space to help student entrepreneurs build, launch and sustain their businesses.
Garrett Freeman, a senior sports marketing major from Thorntown, Indiana, is founder and CEO of Mixciti. Mixciti is an app that allows students to connect with others around them via communities of personalized interests, passions, hobbies and beliefs. Its targeted users will be students who attend IU and, eventually, other universities.
“On today’s social platforms, there is a lack of community engagement around an individual’s interests, passions and beliefs, especially with those around them,” Freeman said. “Social media has become a dark and toxic place full of groupthink and judging one another. It has become practically impossible to be your genuine self on social media, and it is truly sad.”
Mixciti allows individuals to engage and interact with like-minded students around topics that are important to them.
“Individuals should feel empowered to express themselves and what they’re passionate about amongst their peers. Mixciti will give them the ability to connect with others around them and interact based on what’s personally important to the individual,” Freeman said. “Mixciti will also emphasize events and bringing like-minded people together — not only on the app, but in person. Those seeking interaction with new people who share similar interests will finally have the ability to build friendships using Mixciti.”
Mixciti’s present and future
Freeman has developed a fully functional beta version of Mixciti that will be tested prior to October’s Elevate Venture Pitch Competition. Freeman is looking to onboard at least 10,000 IU students to better validate the app and prove the need within the target market.
“Proving the need will open doors to possibilities including raising funding, hiring on new members and expanding to new schools,” Freeman said.
Praise for the Shoebox
Freeman is thankful for being a client in the Shoebox incubation center. He said the opportunity to engage with other student startups and learn from guest speakers has opened his mind to new possibilities.
“The Shoebox contributes many resources and provides countless opportunities to help propel our ventures through whatever stage we’re in,” Freeman said. “Travis Brown and his graduate assistants have assisted me through many obstacles during my journey, and I can’t thank them enough for their devotion to the success of my company and the rest of the Shoebox.”
Student startups can apply for 24/7 access to the Shoebox’s office space, which is located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center, Luddy Hall 2150. The Shoebox also collaborates with the Hoosier Hatchery pre-incubator at the Kelley School of Business and Bloomington’s Dimension Mill startup accelerator. To apply for coworking space, write to email@example.com.