Kravis Leadership Institute Grants the Annual Innovation Startup Award to The Twins Shave Ice

The Kravis Leadership Institute has awarded the annual Innovation Startup Award to an entrepreneurial venture called The Twins Shave Ice, established by Chad and Joe Newbry, both Class of ’14.

The company seeks to bring shaved ice to events in Oregon and California that is both delicious and environmentally friendly.

Co-founder Chad Newbry said about the company’s beginnings and where they got the initial idea for the business, “It was fate. Actually it was more than that. We both didn’t like our prior jobs, lifeguarding, and wanted to do something different. We thought of a few different summer jobs we could do and realized that we had an ice shaver in the garage that our older brother had purchased, so selling shaved ice was the logical choice. The ice shaver is one of the largest initial costs of starting a shave ice business.”

In terms of how they will use the Kravis prize to expand, co-founder Joe Newbry continued, “Chad and I will use the prize money to buy two additional shavers, to pay licensing fees which are actually quite expensive, to build an additional two carts and to pay for the initial cost of hiring workers and transporting everything to and from fairs. Each year we will attempt to get into more and more events. Last year we attended two local events. This year we are attending seven events throughout the state of Oregon.”

Since the award’s creation in 2009, CMC students have been able to apply and compete for a cash award, which is meant to provide venture capital to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas. The payout of the cash award is contingent upon the entrepreneur(s) not only launching their business, but reaching self-defined milestones.

Established by Sunil Rajaraman ’01 and Adam Altman ’99, the award encourages CMCers to consider becoming entrepreneurs and to test their skills to see if they have what it takes to create and maintain a business. In addition to the inaugural gifts of the founding alumni, Henry Kravis has contributed to the award fund in support of the longer-term viability of the program.

Altman said, “The award is developing awareness about entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding career path. I would like to see that awareness continue to grow, as well as raise a significant base of capital to help even more students develop and test their business models in the real world. I would love for this to continue to evolve into a results-driven competition.”

Rajaraman added about the future of the award, “I would eventually like to see CMC follow a Stanford/MIT type of model, where the school actually invests in start-ups (and some of the returns go toward the endowment). Imagine if the next YouTube or Google came out of CMC? We want to create incentives for students to create ideas while they are in school, and create incentive for the school to invest in these ideas.”

In three phases, the start-up projects were selected and judged. A total of 12 semi-finalists were chosen in fall 2010. On March 8, the entrepreneurs gave Power Point presentations to the judges in the competition, and on April 15, the competitors gave 12-minute presentations on their business ideas. (Read more about the award here.)

The other two finalists in this year’s competition included:

Banana Storage. Created by Brian Gose ’12, Mark Gose ’11, Myles MacDonald ’11, and Harrison Zivot ’11, the company was created to eliminate the costs and hassles of summer storage for college students. They provide free pickup and delivery services direct to students’ dorms. Students money save money, as they are charged by the item rather than by a fixed amount of space. (Visit their website here.)

Appetite. Imagined by Jason Tolkin ’11, Appetite is a new iPhone application currently under development that provides restaurant-goers with individual dish ratings that are crowd-sourced from the community. While seated at a restaurant, users can open the application, and the app uses your geo-location to recognize the restaurant, in turn displaying the restaurant’s menu with individual dish ratings next to each dish.

The Kravis Leadership Institute at CMC is an academic center for the promotion and understanding of responsible, innovative leadership. It provides unique opportunities for students to develop as outstanding leaders in the public, private and social sectors.

Read about last year’s winners of the prize here.