The Samford Startup student-led business incubator program creates a supportive environment for students to launch and/or run their own business.

This community of like-minded individuals provides opportunities for students to learn more about business, enterprise and innovation. Through the program, students will gain an understanding of how to fully embrace an entrepreneurial mindset, enabling them to expand upon their creativity and develop problem solving skills for facing issues and uncertainty. By embracing a broad view of entrepreneurship, doors will open for students to be innovative in a wide variety of contexts, whether they have aspirations or intentions of opening up their own business or not.

Samford Startup Membership

Residency in the Samford Startup space is open to all Samford University students—business and nonbusiness majors. Residents are provided an office in the Samford Startup space in Cooney Hall, which allows them a physical place to launch and run their business without incurring large startup costs. In addition, residents have access to limited funding to support their business operations. Residents have the chance to connect with experts across campus, in the local community, and within the expanded Samford network to bring experience, insights and opportunities for these student entrepreneurs. Regular discussions with professionals might focus on branding, pricing, financial modeling, customer service, leadership, or a variety of other topics in which students wish to concentrate.

If residency is full, a limited number of affiliate memberships are available. Affiliate members are embraced as a core part of the incubator program. While they don’t have a formal office space in Cooney Hall, affiliates gain access to the same meeting spaces, discussions and networking opportunities available to the resident members.

Contact the Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship, Matt Mazzei, to apply for residency in the program.

Meet the Residents

Photo of Emma Ferrante
Resident: Emma Ferrante
Major: Graphic Design
Year: Sophomore
Business: Art by Emma LLC is a friendly art brand with simple designs and powerful messages.
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Photo of Kaitlin McDermott
Resident: Kaitlin McDermott
Major: Finance and Marketing
Year: Senior
Business: McDermott runs Social Hour, a digital marketing agency.
Perry Ash, Entrepreneur
Resident: Ash Perry
Major: Finance
Year: Junior
Business: Howl Services LLC connects high school and college students with various odd job tasks in the communities in which they live through an on-demand booking app.
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Meet the Affiliates

Photo of Maggie Corbitt
Affiliate: Maggie Corbitt
Major: Journalism and Mass Communication
Year: Junior
Business: Corbitt & Co. Lakeside Apparel and Gear LLC is a brick and mortar plus online lifestyle and outdoor store ranging from hunting apparel to high end boutique clothing.
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Photo of Grace Gamboa
Affiliate: Grace Gamboa
Major: Entrepreneurship
Year: Junior
Business: Reclamation, an online clothing store that is missioned towards reminding girls and women that you are redeemed through Christ.
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Photo of Riann Laux
Affiliate: Riann Laux
Major: Management and Marketing
Year: Junior
Business: Six Two Five Co. promotes worry-free wear for women who have struggled with or wish to support those with body image challenges.
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Photo of Kappy Perry
Affiliate: Kappy Perry
Major: Plans to declare marketing
Year: Freshman
Business: Made by Kappy specializes in unique and trendy jewelry designs.
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Photo of Ashley Gossett
“Samford Startup was a God-wink for me in Brock School of Business—a true blessing I didn’t see coming. Business school was not part of ‘my plan’ before I found Samford, but when my greeting card hobby turned into a business before college, I felt the nudge to press in and learn more...

...I am so grateful for Samford Startup to be part of my Samford story and growth as a business owner. Throughout four years as a student and resident, Samford Startup served as a bridge connecting school life with business owner life. I had opportunities to compete in business competitions and win startup funding, establish an LLC, trademark my company’s name, and meet with professors and mentors to share advice along the way. During my senior year I worked with Brock School of Business to create Samford Startup’s name, branding and extension of the program framework. It was an exciting and gratifying experience to continue my own entrepreneurial endeavors while helping develop this program that so greatly helped me. I am confident Samford Startup will be a bridge and launchpad for many more student entrepreneurs to come!”

Ashley Steiner Gossett ’19 | Founder/Owner, Winnefred Austin