Tricia Reville, Green Entrepreneur Via Her Business Greenfinity
Tricia Reville is is a senior in the George Washington University School of Business studying international business and entrepreneurship. She studied abroad in India from June to August 2010 where she worked with biofuel systems at the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute. After returning from India, Tricia began researching on-site waste to energy biofuel system use in the United States. She wrote a business plan for Greenfinity, her business, and won two business plan competitions as well as raising $5,000 of initial capital. Tricia also works for Jim Chung at GW’s Office of Entrepreneuership and is a Young Leader’s Judge for the global women’s role models movement: The Hot Mommas Project.
I am a student at the George Washington University School of Business and graduating in May 2011.
Tell us about yourself
As a kid, I always loved the idea of inventing something or coming up with the next big idea. My degree from GW is in Business Administration with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and international business. Through my classes I have written business plans, interviewed entrepreneurs, and pitched ideas to venture capitalists. While inIndialast summer, I worked at the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI), which develops low-cost technologies for rural farmers inIndia. Upon returning to theUS, I started designing a system (inspired by what I worked with inIndia) that can convert food and paper waste to energy.
Tell us about your business
Greenfinity is a sustainable, urban waste management solution utilizing biofuel systems. I designed a biofuel system based on my experience in India, which uses the anaerobic digestion process to convert food and paper waste to methane gas, which can be used to run a stove. The ideal client for this product is a restaurant that produces large amounts of food waste and is committed to sustainability. I am currently looking into a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant through the National Science Foundation, to gain enough funding to test the concept in laboratory space.
What were the early signs that you were a future entrepreneur?
I played field hockey growing up and loved the sport. When I got to high school and realized my school did not have a field hockey team, I decided to start one. Although it was not starting a business, I realized later that starting the field hockey team involved financing, team building, and pitching an idea. Unfortunately, I graduated before I could actually play on the team. What I enjoyed most about this project was creating a legacy—the Lauralton Hall field hockey team is now one of the top teams in the state.
What is the most exciting/rewarding part of your business?
I really enjoy talking to people about my concept and selling them on the idea. Since I do not have a business background, all of the science was very new to me at the beginning, but now I am very comfortable talking to people about how it works from a scientific perspective.
What is the most challenging part of your business?
Initially, understanding the science was my biggest challenge. I still want to do everything, but I am realizing that I need to focus on the business side of things, and get help for the science and technology aspects.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
If you are young and still in school and you have an idea for a product or service, just go for it! I was always worried about my ideas failing or not working, but I think if you have an idea you are willing to spend time on, it is probably worth pursuing on some level.
1. What aspects of Tricia’s journey to and through entrepreneurship stand out to you? Sports? India? The loan / grant programs? Pick between one and three elements of her profile and explain why they stand out to you.
2. As a follow on to question 1, consider completing exercises in Module 1 of theEntrepreneur in the Classroom free curriculum. Do you have the traits and mindset of an entrepreneur? What other traits can you imagine are necessary to be an entrepreneur? List them without looking at the exercise? What additional traits are revealed after looking at the Module 1 exercise?
3. If you had a business idea, what contests exist where you could pitch your ideas and get feedback and funding? Google them and list three that you find.
Know a Young Entrepreneur? Nominate them here.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.
Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.
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