College entrepreneurs are getting a boost from a local smoothie and açaí health food brand by way of capital and professional assistance that could drive their startups forward.
Dallas-based Rollin’ n Bowlin’ has launched “Bowls n Goals,” a new semester-long mentorship and grant program designed for students across the country. Rollin’ n Bowlin Co-Founders Sophia Karbowski and Austin Patry will offer direct experience to each founder chosen to participate, along with a $1,000 grant, networking, and publicity opportunities.
The program mainly focuses on business growth. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with Rollin’ n Bowlin’s operations, marketing, and ownership teams via monthly calls, join strategy sessions, and explore additional entrepreneurship support and resources.
Paying it forward
The initiative is fitting for Patry and Karbowski, who started Rollin’ n Bowlin’ in 2017 while attending Fort Worth’s Texas Christian University. The entrepreneurial management students saw a need for a healthy food option on campus and opened their own food truck to fill the hole.
Since then, the duo has expanded the startup beyond four wheels, transforming it into storefront cafes, an e-commerce site, and a retail brand. Today, Rollin’ n Bowlin’—with its mission to “spread healthy vibes”—has nine flavors, four locations, packaged products available at grocery stores, and a subscription-based format online and on Amazon.
“Starting a business during college can be an immense challenge if you don’t have the necessary resources and support, but I also think it’s the best time in your life to start a company,” Patry said in a statement. “We’ve developed Bowls n Goals to assist in propelling the dreams of other students that were just like us—this is our way of paying it forward.”
Meet the first cohort of entrepreneurs
The entrepreneurs selected for the inaugural cohort are all students at TCU. The program will last from this August through November.
The participants in the first “Bowls n Goals” are:
Madison Rust (sophomore), founder of Mello Swim, a sustainable swimwear apparel brand aiming to inspire others to be expressive and confident in their own skin. With her grant, Rust plans to make additional swimsuit samples and increase marketing efforts.
Cooper Neel (sophomore), founder of coopdeThé, a company that makes fruit-based tea with organic and fair-trade ingredients. Thus far, Neal, who is from Philadelphia, has established formulas for four core flavors, and plans to use the grant to procure supplies and packaging and set up taste tests. He also plans to put a percentage of profits toward people with learning disabilities.
Austin Foster (senior), founder of Runner’s, wants the pilsner to become the go-to national beer of Texas. The idea mirrors the “National Bohemian Beer” in Foster’s hometown of Baltimore. Inspired by roadrunners that race across South and West Texas, Runner’s will encapsulate a statewide identity that appeals to newer generations. Foster plans to use the grant to start funding Runner’s and procure samples of his beer.
“We’re already so incredibly proud of our first class of Bowls n Goals entrepreneurs,” Karbowski said in a statement. “Each was chosen for their ability to clearly articulate the vision and mission for their companies and we cannot wait to help them in their unique entrepreneurial journeys. We will stand by them and hope to further build a community where company founders support one another.”
Each semester, a new cohort will be chosen for the program. Applications can be found on the Rollin’ n Bowlin’ website.
Quincy Preston contributed to this report.
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