Industry: Religious Tech
Founding Student Name(s): Trenton Balcombe
Brief Description of Solution: ChurchSearch is an online platform that connects people with the perfect church through a curated search process.
What led you to launch this venture? In Fall 2021, I came to UT Austin as a freshman and struggled to find the right church for me, so I knew there was a better way to connect people to churches in one place online.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? My biggest accomplishment so far with the venture is placing second in the Forty Acres Founders Pre-Accelerator Program Pitch Competition and winning $5,000 for my venture, in addition to launching an MVP and securing my first few churches on a Beta.
How has your business-related major helped you further this startup venture? Because of my major, I have access to endless entrepreneurial resources on campus, which has helped me get connected with the right people and build relationships with people who have gone before me in the entrepreneurial world. Their perspective and advice have helped me learn so many valuable things before going out and learning it from making mistakes myself.
Which business class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? The business class that has been most valuable in building my startup is the Forty Acres Founders Pre-Accelerator Program, which I was able to take for 3 credit hours in Spring 2022. The biggest lesson I gained from the class was that I can’t go on my entrepreneurial journey alone and need wiser people who have gone before me to guide me along the way.
What business professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? My professor for the Forty Acres Program, Amanda Golden, made a significant contribution to my venture because she took the time to connect me with the right mentors and has provided valuable feedback and direction when I need it.
What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? I have many inspirations in the entrepreneurial world, but the founder who inspired me the most to start my entrepreneurial journey is Elon Musk. For a while now, I have been captivated by how he leverages his confidence, creativity, and charisma to build some of the most innovative technology we have ever seen. His confidence, creativity, and charisma are something I strive to implement as I’ve begun my entrepreneurial journey.
What is your long-term goal with your startup? My long-term goal is to cover as much as the country as possible and feature every imaginable church on the platform and, in turn, revolutionize the way people and churches are connected.
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