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2020 Holiday Guide: 20 Polsky-Supported Businesses

As we near the end of 2020, the holiday season is officially here. While things will feel quite a bit different this year, we wanted to highlight some of our Polsky Center alums and their companies in case you are still looking for a few gift ideas in the next couple of weeks:

(Image from BloomNation’s Facebook page)

BloomNation // Spread holiday cheer by sending flowers to a loved one! BloomNation’s online marketplace connects customers with local florists to send a personalized arrangement. BloomNation previously participated in the 2012 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge.

BrewBike wins $45K at the 2018 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge.

BrewBike // BrewBike is a portable coffee shop usually found on college campuses. Since the pandemic, BrewBike has brought its popular menu online. BrewBike previously participated in the 2018 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge and was part of the 2018 Accelerator.

(Image from Brown Sugar Bakery’s Facebook page)

Brown Sugar Bakery // Found in the Chatham neighborhood, Brown Sugar Bakery is a Southern-style bakeshop that specializes in traditional treats and custom cakes. Brown Sugar Bakery was part of the Spring 2018 and Summer 2020 cohorts of the Small Business Growth Program.

Crave Natural // This breakfast foods company combines nutrition with traditional Asian cuisine to produce all-natural, superfood oatmeal, crafted for the working individual. Crave Natural was part of the 2019 Incubator and previously participated in the 2020 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge.

 

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Cubii // Working from home, exercise is a must. Cubii is a compact under-the-desk elliptical that integrates wirelessly with mobile devices and existing fitness trackers in order to make sitting healthier and more social. Cubii previously participated in and won the 2013 College New Venture Challenge.

Coco Meers is seen here (far left) presenting at a University of Chicago event.

Equilibria // This company was co-founded by Booth and NVC alum, Coco Meers, MBA ’14. Equilibria sells custom CBD products designed specifically for women and women’s bodies.

(Image credit: Foxtrot)

Foxtrot Market // Foxtrot Market works as a grocery store, a coffee shop, and a bar. With the app, you can get local goods delivered in under an hour. Foxtrot previously participated in the 2013 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge.

(Image credit: Fronen)

Frönen // This dairy- and allergen-free ice cream brand only uses natural ingredients, with each flavor having 6 ingredients or less. Frönen previously participated in and won the 2017 College New Venture Challenge and was part of the 2017 Accelerator.

 

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Give Memento // This mobile app personalizes digital cash gifting for special occasions, such as the holidays. Give Memento was part of the 2019 Accelerator, previously participated in the 2019 Alumni New Venture Challenge, and is currently part of the 2020-21 cohort of the Polsky Founders’ Fund Fellowship.

Hello to Natural // For clean beauty products, visit Hello to Natural. This skin, beauty, and body care business specializes in making natural products. All products are free of additives, chemicals, parabens, plastics, and more. Hello to Natural was part of the Spring 2020 cohort of the Small Business Growth Program.

Hemp Heals Body Shop // Woman-owned, Hemp Heals Body Shop provides premium, affordable CBD bath and body products. Hemp Heals Body Shop was part of the Summer 2020 cohort of the Small Business Growth Program and is currently part of the L1 Accelerator Program.

Lena Rose Beauty // This green, non-toxic spa and shop sells sustainable and clean beauty and skincare products. Lena Rose Beauty was part of the Fall 2018 cohort of the Small Business Growth Program.

 

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Love Cork Screw // For wine, look to Love Cork Screw. Run by one of 60 African-American women négociants in the world, this wine and lifestyle brand offers a variety of wines, as well as candles and home goods. Love Cork Screw was part of the Summer 2020 cohort of the Small Business Growth Program.

LuminAID // For the camping fiend, turn to LuminAID. The company develops innovative solar-powered products for disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and recreational use outdoors. LuminAID previously participated in and won the 2012 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge.

Quevos receives $15,000 at the College New Venture Challenge (CNVC) in the Harper Center on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (Photography Eddie Quinones)

Quevos // Quevos is a low-carb, high-protein chip made from egg whites. Quevos has two lines: classic and keto. Quevos previously participated in and won the 2018 College New Venture Challenge.

ReformedSchool // This boutique combines art, fashion, and eco-friendly materials, selling unique items to wear and dress your home that highlight history, social justice, and pop culture. Reformed School was part of the Summer 2020 cohort of the Small Business Growth Program and is currently part of the L1 Accelerator Program.

 

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Ricafrica //  Ricafrica is an online platform that sells a curated collection of accessories and apparel that is handmade in Africa. Ricafrica previously participated in the 2019 Alumni New Venture Challenge.

(Image credit: Simple Mills)

Simple Mills // This clean food company makes wholesome, convenient foods that taste good. Simple Mills sells a variety of snacks and baking mixes. All products are free of gluten, grains, soy, and genetically modified ingredients. Simple Mills previously participated in the 2014 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge. 

(Image credit: Solo Noir for Men)

Solo Noir for Men // Solo Noir for Men is an all-natural skincare and grooming brand for men of color. It offers two-in-one multipurpose products, tools, and techniques created to restore confidence through clear, healthy skin. Solo Noir for Men was part of the Summer 2020 cohort of the Small Business Growth Program and is currently part of the L1 Accelerator Program.

Bryan Wilcox (left), cofounder and chief technology officer, and David Rabie, cofounder and CEO (Image credit: Tovala)

Tovala // For the person on the go, Tovala’s countertop steam oven pairs with a meal subscription service to cook a premium meal in under 20 minutes. Tovala previously participated in and won the 2015 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge.

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