Alumna Wins $10K Prize for Social Enterprise Project
By Zoee Simmons
Cal State San Marcos alumna Rachael Lafenhagen won $10,000 in prize money during the Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition.
Lafenhagen’s pitch for her startup Craft-Your-Bra earned her second place in the social enterprise track. The prize money will help her to pursue her dream of launching of her business.
Hosted by San Jose State University, the competition consisted of 36 student teams from 18 of the 23 CSU campuses. These entrepreneurial student teams pitched their businesses to a panel of judges who evaluated them on their desirability, feasibility and viability.
Craft-Your-Bra was established in memory of Lafenhagen’s grandmother, a breast cancer survivor. Lafenhagen created a modular bra system that will help women overcome the struggle of having different breast sizes. She focuses on increasing body positivity and breast cancer awareness while providing an innovative product that will improve the lives of many women.
By launching Craft-Your-Bra, Lafenhagen hopes to “break the cycle of the one-size-fits-all mindset by redefining the possibilities for bra customization and by providing a sustainable, eco-conscious solution for everyone to be able to craft their perfect bra.”
While at CSUSM, Lafenhagen pursued her degree in business administration and was the president of the Entrepreneurship Society. She has received support from many mentors from CSUSM College of Business Administration and CSUSM Innovation Hub in her entrepreneurship journey. She plans to officially launch her business by the end of the year and the prize money will help make her goals possible.
This year’s Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition concluded with 15 student teams taking home a total of $200,000 in prize money. This is just the beginning of the five-year commitment by Sunstone Management to sponsor the event with a grand total of $1 million in prize money coming from the Sunstone Community Fund.
Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
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