Article Gig-Hub Startup Student Testimonial

Meet Gig-Hub Client Julia Franklin

Julia Franklin is the Chief Learning Officer for Enabled Play, a company that’s mission is to help anyone access and control their technology and software in ways that work for them. At the Hurt Hub@Davidson, she is involved in the Gig-Hub Program as well as is a member of the Flex Space Plan in the physical coworking community. 

The Gig-Hub Program is a unique aspect of the various experiential learning opportunities available here at the Hurt Hub@Davidson. Employers of small businesses or startups have the ability to work collaboratively with Davidson College students and help them gain experience in the professional world. In the past year alone, the Program has provided 91 gigs for 62 students, totaling over 2,300 hours. 

Julia first learned about the Gig-Hub Program from a professional contact, who also happened to be a Davidson alum. She also was able to have an initial visit to the space, and from there, sparked an interest in partnering with a student consultant. Julia and her company worked with Sarah Todd “ST” Hammer through the program, and she “couldn’t have been any more of a perfect fit for our team and project.” During her gig, ST worked on a variety of projects, including supporting Enabled Play in completing user testing on the beta version of the team’s app. She also helped out on social media and local company–organized community events. In the future, Julia and Enabled Play plan to continue to stay connected with one another. Luckily enough, this past June, ST and Enabled Play reunited at The Abilities Expo hosted in Chicago. There, ST was able to meet more of the team, many of which she had only interacted with virtually. 

As a part of the Hurt Hub@Davidson coworking community, Julia is also a member of Flex Space. After recently transitioning into full-time employment with a start-up based in Boston, she was in search of a workspace that could fulfill her needs. After discovering the coworking space here at the Hurt Hub@Davidson, Julia has enjoyed the community of like-minded people.

Click this link to learn more about our Gig-Hub Program and the plans and rates in our coworking space. 

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Purposeful Serendipity Launches Alec Stimac ’23 into his Entrepreneurial Journey

“Little did I know that being a part of the Hurt Hub@Davidson would transform my career trajectory and creativity,” noted Alec Stimac, a recent Davidson College graduate of the class of 2023 who studied International Relations, Economics, and Chinese Studies, when explaining his initial experience with the Hurt Hub@Davidson community.  

Alec first became involved in Hurt Hub@Davidson opportunities when he met Joe Ricci, a coworking space member, to receive mentorship on life goals. That first engagement with the space led Alec to transform his career trajectory and creativity. He sparked an interest in entrepreneurship, and from there, began to involve himself in a number of Hurt Hub@Davidson events, programs, and trips. Eventually, he started and built his own startup, Ingot, a social justice network that aims to enable “youth and nonprofits to challenge the way they think about global issues, collaborate with other passionate people in their area, gain mentorship from users domestically and abroad.” This amazing opportunity and idea developed through the help of the Hurt Hub@Davidson’s partnerships with companies and organizations. Specifically 1MillionCups, a weekly event where entrepreneurs can meet and present their startups, and LaunchCLT, a mentorship program, which provides expertise and knowledge for entrepreneurs. These endless possibilities allowed Alec to expand his knowledge outside the classroom, and gain a greater appreciation for the Charlotte area, and the offerings of its ecosystem and people. With his company, Ingot, and mentorship, Alec participated in the Hurt Hub@Davidson’s Nisbet Venture Fund pitch competition and shared his commitment to social issues and impact with the extensive community.

Alec identified the Hurt Hub@Davidson as an integral part of his college experience. “I could not imagine where I would be today if it were not for the Hurt Hub and the amazing team that works there.” He also noted the physical aspect of the space, loving its “good energy and smiles” that made it magnetic to return back – whether it be working on his startup, meeting people, or just studying. To Alec, the Hurt Hub@Davidson “was not just a coworking space, but a home away from home just across Main Street.”

Click here to learn more about opportunities for students and young entrepreneurs here at the Hurt Hub@Davidson.

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How Mike Faubert Inspires Others

Photo courtesy of Chris Record

Since college, Mike Faubert has been drawn to working in sales, particularly noting its plentiful opportunities to meet and connect with a variety of people. From there, Mike worked for Hampton Products, which has now expanded to manufacturing security hardware and smart home products. He learned many valuable lessons about consumer product marketing, perhaps most importantly how to make your product stand out in the market. During this time, under the guidance of the company president, Mike remained a part of Hampton Products for 22 years.

Mike first learned about the HurtHub@Davidson through LaunchCLT, of which he is still an active mentor, during the recovery from the pandemic. LaunchCLT aims to provide expertise and share knowledge for entrepreneurs, to which he was able to collaborate and advise on consumer product topics. Currently, the Hurt Hub@Davidson has provided structured mentorship to 35 ventures, by nearly 60 mentors within the organization. After first becoming connected with LaunchCLT, he was asked to lead the first Co-Starters program, which is a 10-week class that teaches the process and details of starting and running a successful business. Now, Mike continues to work as a trained facilitator, providing professional advice and guidance to those looking to launch their business.

During the academic year, Mike provides mentorship to students enrolled in the WRI 270, “A Bit About Me,” instructed by Professor Steve Kaliski from the Theater department. Once a week for an hour, he answers any and all questions his mentees might have and helps them transform their interests into the professional world. “It feels good to be able to provide guidance to those who may not have had the same experiences that I have had,” he says. 

In the past year, the Hurt Hub@Davidson has provided mentorship to 43 ventures, 13 Davidson alumni, and 14 current Davidson students or alumni ventures, all by 78 mentors in the community. Mentorship is an integral part of entrepreneurship and success for the Hurt Hub@Davidson, and we are excited to continue and expand our mentorship programs in the future. Click here to learn more about mentorship opportunities available at the Hurt Hub@Davidson.

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