10 Startups of 2017 By USC Students

1. Rimm Bracelets

As shown by icons in the fashion industry such as Iris Apfel and Kylie Jenner, the clear and simplistic look has become an icon of the modern era. Rimm Bracelets are handmade with premium, borosilicate glass. They are completely transparent, lightweight and comfortable to wear. Rimm Bracelets are a unique and timeless piece for the minimalist at heart!

2. Tipsy Freeze

We manufacture and distribute ready to drink frozen alcoholic cocktails. The flavors we make for our freezes are margarita, strawberry margarita, pina colada, and hard lemonade. They come in boxes of 8 pops and have an ABV of about 9.5%. Troy Ibarra, founder of Tipsy Freeze, says “Tipsy Freeze isn’t about pounding down gross shots or warm canned beers. We want to take people back to their days of having frozen pops in the sun.”


VNDCATED is an urban clothing brand based in Los Angeles. It means to be free from judgement. As a brand with purpose, they aim to expose and spread positive influences through their products by reminding us that it’s not always about “me” or “I” – that there is a greater picture, cause, and purpose in life. #ItsNotAboutI.

4. FareShare

FareShare is “a community with four doors”: a mobile platform offering a subscription-based carpool community to help drivers fill empty seats on their daily commutes. By connecting like-minded riders and drivers who regularly travel to and from similar destinations, users can share the costs of doing what they would already be doing, while saving time by using the carpool lane. Ethan Bazarganfard, founder, says “we hope to reduce traffic by utilizing the vast amount of empty seats in cars, reducing the associated carbon footprint.”

5. Aerial Shots OC

Aerial Shots OC is a drone service company that was founded in 2015. Their drones are able to capture data from new perspectives, bringing valuable information to the construction, engineering and inspection industries. Also, Aerial Shots OC provides marketing content to real estate and outdoor advertising companies across the nation. Brad Lynds, founder, says “the landscape surrounding drones is always evolving, and we hope to be on the forefront of future use cases.”

6. Troy Media Group

Troy Media Group is a full-service marketing, PR, and brand building company. They work with public figures sports, music, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and businesses to help build brands, improve their digital presence, manage their PR, monetize their audiences, and launch new marketing campaigns. Founder Karan Gill hopes to change the way public figures manage their brand, and says his work “is the forefront of the next generation of marketing”.

7. MidSnack

MidSnack is an after hours snack delivery service that offers snacks in four different categories (Healthy, Sweet, Savory, and Caffeinated) while guaranteeing delivery within 15 minutes of the order being placed. For every 10 “snackpaks” sold, they donate a custom nutritious “snackpak” through partnerships with local homeless shelters to a person in need. Founder Haris Bjelevac believes “college campuses is where positive social movements are born”.

8. Skillify

Skillify enhances the effectiveness of our education system by implementing career-readiness curriculum in high schools and colleges. The curriculum equips students with real-life skills and one-on-one coaching to prepare them to make big decisions. Students are empowered to secure work-based learning opportunities such as internships and mentorships. They hope to help students explore their interests and experience the working world before age 18.

9. Quakes Epicenter

Quakes Epicenter provides coverage for the San Jose Earthquakes, a Major League Soccer team. We break news, write articles, produce podcasts and video interviews, and create social media content. Their main focus is the San Jose Earthquakes, and other notable events they’ve covered include the 2016 Copa America Centenario, the 2016 International Champions Cup,  and the 2016 MLS All Star Game. Anay Patel, founder, hopes to “create special moments for others” through the sport he grew up playing and supporting.

10. Crypton

Crypton is a mobile application that makes acquiring digital currencies effortless, inexpensive, and automatic. These digital currencies, cryptocurrencies, include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Crypton also offers additional features for increased investments. “Our hope is to fill in the gap between the cryptocurrency enthusiast & the general public”, says Blase Biello, founder of Crypton.

The Trojan entrepreneurial ecosystem is incredibly strong, and students all across our campus are building businesses with truly amazing potential. But as each of you knows, building a business is hard.


Here are some resources to check out for questions and help about building your own startup:

1. Contrary Capital

Contrary Capital brings the best in business to help scale the challenges that hinder your business’s growth. Contrary Capital is a fully independent, university focused venture fund driven by student investors at 40+ colleges across the nation. They can connect you with top-tier VCs, offer a diverse network for talent, customers, and advice, and have the flexibility to accommodate your startup at a crucial growth stage.

2. Trojan Entrepreneurship Network

TEN creates a curated network between students and entrepreneurs – creating opportunities for innovators to develop professionally and grow their businesses. They provide students with the essential knowledge, inspiration, resources, and funding to blossom ideas into successful businesses. Events include guest speakers, networking socials, industry-specific panels, and hands-on workshops.

5 replies
  1. Tommy Trojan
    Tommy Trojan says:

    As a USC alumni, I can honestly say that I have never been as offended by an article written on the Daily Trojan as I am now. All these ideas are utter garbage. For the first time I now feel a sense of shame having graduated from USC.

    • Ethan Bazarganfard
      Ethan Bazarganfard says:

      I feel a sense of shame for having to share the Trojan title with you. What gives you the credibility to deem these ideas as utter garbage? What exactly do you do, Mr. Tommy Trojan? I actually feel sorry for you. You’re an alum disrespecting undergraduate students in the comments of a DT article simply for trying an idea out.

      • b juardo
        b juardo says:

        The second idea, “Tipsy Freeze,” makes us look bad. It perpetuates the image of SC being a “party, tailgate, greek” oriented school. I think it’s tasteless, no pun intended.

    • b juardo
      b juardo says:

      I agree with you, but look at it in two ways. #1, let them believe in their hackneyed, worthless ideas. I took, what was that entrepreneurship class here, that made you write a PPM to propose to a VC??? Anyways, I read the ideas of all the other students (because the professor had you post it on Blackboard), and none of them were impressive or novel. So who cares about someone trying to get a lead-filled balloon to fly? #2, why would you divulge your “next big thing?” Only a fool would do that. You think the founders of Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. were openly telling people their ideas? Hell no.

      So let the herd show us their hackneyed, stale ideas, and scoff. Let them stay stuck in stupid, while you think of a good idea to get ahead…..Btw, the two schools that produce the most successful alumni in terms of business startups/entrepreneurship are Harvard and Stanford. Their alumni, put out the next big things that change the world. With that said, I’d rather go to those schools if I could do it all over again, and given the chance to go there.

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