St. Thomas Magazine_Spring 2022

“I really want to see a world where all kids can see themselves as heroes,“ Porter said. She‘s funding the after-school program, in part, from the $200,000 she received from the MEDAMillion Dollar Challenge, a nationwide pitch competition geared toward women and BIPOC entrepreneurs. Guided by two co-directors, a social worker and five teachers, the diverse participants will learn script writing, storyboarding, 3D

at the university. She entered the video game idea in the social venture category of the ninth annual Fowler Business Concept Challenge hosted by St. Thomas‘ Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. She said that the $16,000 scholarship she won for landing first place, along with another $10,000 she received through the St. Thomas Business Plan Competition, “have been essential“ in getting her company off the ground. St. Thomas again had her back in summer 2021. That‘s when a top start-up accelerator called

modeling, animation,

GRANNY KEL One of 10 positive female video game characters created by Seraph 7 Studios.

architecture, as well as the programming languages C++ and Python. “We‘re going to make sure we have healthy snacks for

gener8tor, in partnership with the Schulze School, selected Porter‘s company for its gBETA St. Thomas. This free, seven-week accelerator programmentors

start-ups founded by University of St. Thomas students and alumni. The advice she has received from her mentors, she said, has been invaluable.Well, in some ways she could put a price tag on it. She originally valued her business at $2 million when she applied to be on the hit TV show “Shark Tank.“ “I am happy that I didn‘t make it on the show then because at that point I undervaluedmy business,“ she said. Her mentors and angel investors showed her how she could dreambigger, beyond video game products to a multifaceted business model.

the students, build up their confidence, and kind

of take care of the whole student,“ said Porter, who faced race-based struggles when she was a high schooler. Porter credits St. Thomas for her company‘s upward trajectory. She developed her first business plan for Seraph 7 Studios in 2017 with the encouragement she received from faculty and classmates during her final year as a graduate student

S T T H O M A S . E D U .

1 5

Powered by