Winterim Inspires Student Entrepreneurs

Credit: Nina Johnson

During the last week of winter break, while much of the student body was still on vacation, 27 students from a variety of majors participated in Winterim, a five-day immersive entrepreneurship opportunity organized by the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership. This year, due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, every student was able to attend Winterim at no cost.

Students are assigned to groups of three or four to create, research, develop, and pitch an idea to a panel of local business leaders on the final day of the event. In the process, they learn entrepreneurial and life skills with the help of inspirational speakers, mentors, and leaders in the for-profit and nonprofit communities. Teams compete for one of several awards and $6,000 in cash prizes. Two of the teams are chosen to advance to statewide competition at InventOR.

Top honors in this year’s competition went to the team that pitched SenseAir, a device that detects mold in homes and businesses and links to an app. Team members were Cas Mulford BA ’23, Natalie Elstone BA ’24, and Beau Staun-List BA ’25.

“While the pitch competition is always a highlight, the magic of Winterim really lies in our students meeting over 60 speakers, mentors, judges, and Ask Me Anything speed networking participants,” said Chrys Hutchings, director of the Bates Center. “By week’s end, the students are exhausted, but they’ve gained the courage to move forward that comes only from betting on themselves and executing.”