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Institute for Entrepreneurship

Institute for Entrepreneurship

Runway Program Student Spotlight



Jakub Adamowicz and Michael Kunchal are the founders of RoomDig, the first and only real estate app exclusively for college students.

They participated in our Runway Program Spring 2017. Between the USF pitch contest and the Runway Program pitch competition, they have been able to raise $8,000 in seed funding for their business.

Jakub and Michael are in the process of launching their app across the US this fall. They plan to travel cross country, touring colleges in order to create partnerships with college housing all across America. 

 To support RoomDig, like their Facebook page!

SmoochSamantha Mitchell is the founder of Smooch by Samitch. Smooch is a monthly cosmetics subscription service and phone application. She participated in the Runway Program Spring 2017 and earned $10,000 in seed funding through the program's pitch competition. 

She intends on pursuing a major in Entrepreneurship in fall 2017 and is going to into her junior year at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Her experience and passion for the cosmetics industry is what inspired her to pursue this idea. Her next step is to prepare her first month of boxes and acquire subscribers! You should be seeing Smooch around campus this fall.

To support Smooch, follow @smoochbysamitch on Instagram!



RyanRyan Smith is a Management major going into his senior year at FGCU. He’s the founder of Unchained Mechanics, a platform that connects bicyclists with bicycle mechanics whenever and wherever they are. 

Ryan participated in the Runway Program Spring 2017 and earned $6,000 in seed funding through the program's pitch competition. As an avid bicyclist, he found that people were having to buy new bikes while theirs were getting repaired somewhere else and decided to find a solution.

He plans to officially launch his platform soon, focusing first on his hometown of Ft. Lauderdale. 

To support Unchained Mechanics, like them on Facebook!




Rob Check Photo

Robert Marlinski is the founder of Modern Made Man, a retail store for men of all ages that sells timeless pieces that fit perfectly with a gentleman’s lifestyle.

Robert founded this company through his passion for fashion and his collecting of watches. He received seed funding through the Runway Program pitch competition in the fall of 2016. His site has already officially launched and he plans to add watches in August 2017.

About the Runway Program, Robert said, “I believe the Runway Program is a great route for any student to take with the passion of developing their own business. The Runway Program offers all of the necessary tools and resources to make your dream a reality!”

 To support Modern Made Man, visit its website!


Sofia CheckSofia Blanno is the co-founder of Best Dressed, in partnership with Danielle Egeland. Sofia is a junior with a major in Entrepreneurship.

Sofia co-founded Best Dressed due to a problem that many online shoppers have: It is very difficult to see what a style, size, or color will look like on you when you’re shopping online.

Sofia explains, “Best Dressed is an application that incorporates personalized styling from your favorite stores to fit you!" Since starting her business, she has partnered with several up-and-coming fashion designers and earned $5,000 in seed funding from the Runway Program in order to build her app. 

To support Best Dressed, follow them on Instagram @shopbestdressed!




Stanley Check Stanley Stouder is the founder of Marine Energy Solutions LLC (MES).

Stanley is a marketing major and will be graduating summer 2017. MES' vision is to bring clean energy to docks and marinas. He grew up on the water and used his experience to develop a solar technology linked to an app in order to bring his purpose to fruition.

After receiving $10,000 dollars in seed funding through the Runway Program, he has been able to start his business and has been growing exponentially ever since. MES also competed in the Spring 2017 Governor's Cup Competition, as well as the Spring 2017 Florida Venture Forum. To read more about these business competitions, visit our Business Plan Competitions section.

Sam Check

Sam Page is the founder of Jaia Ergonomics LLC, a company focused on developing ergonomic technology accessories to improve spinal health. Jaia Ergonomics is focusing first on developing a fully portable and ergonomic laptop case and stand that alleviates back pain.

After going through a car accident, Sam had several herniated discs in her spine - having this injury showed her the strain that using a laptop was putting on her back. She is currently working on improving her prototype and filing for a patent.

When asked what her favorite part of going through the Runway Program was, Sam said, “I have learned more through the Runway Program than I ever thought possible. My involvement has taught me far beyond business curriculum. I have learned concepts related to engineering, accounting, legal, and marketing. As a non-business major, I would never have learned these concepts in the classroom. I am so grateful, not only for the seed funding I received and the help I received from the IFE team and the mentor program, but for the lasting friendships and memories I gained through my involvement with the Runway Program.”

Rebekah Eagle Biz

Rebekah Dankert is the founder of G.I. GEM. She’s a senior graduating with a degree in Finance at Florida Gulf Coast University. G.I. Gem is developing a line self-defense tools designed for women to best suit them in their everyday needs.

Inspired by personal hardships in her own life, Rebekah wanted to help other women protect themselves. Her next step is to finish creating her prototype so that she can source manufacturers. Rebekah received $15,000 in seed funding through the Runway Program. She’s hoping to launch G.I. Gem by mid fall 2017!