Emergency mobile phone chargers spark judges’ interest at UGA Idea Accelerator

Terry MIS and finance student wins Idea Accelerator funding for bar and stadium phone charging solutions
Charles Gaddy

Anyone who’s ever been out for a day of tailgating knows that sometimes your phone can run out of juice before you do.

That was UGA management information systems and finance student Charlie Gaddy’s inspiration for Power Shot — the mobile phone charging solution that wowed UGA Entrepreneurship Program Idea Accelerator judges.

Gaddy told judges he was recently able to sell 40 chargers to UGA fans after just one home game.

“Portable chargers are great, but 99% of the time people don’t remember to bring them,” he said. “My product is taking advantage of the people who are unprepared and didn’t think to bring a charger out with them.”

Gaddy walked away with $2,500 in prize money to invest in his inventory and grow his brand as part of UGA’s second fall Idea Accelerator pitch contest on Nov. 16.

“You have a business right now, and we can see you out there grinding, engaging with the customer,” said Bjorn Barja, Idea Accelerator judge and co-founder of Solution Mavericks. “I can tell you that is the most important thing, connecting with the customers, getting feedback, staying out there and talking to folks.”

Judges for this Idea Accelerator cohort included Dan Hagberg, former student entrepreneur and owner of Bolt Storage; Jeff Reed (BBA ’82), who advises companies in the private equity space, and Kariesha Drayton, entrepreneurship advisor and director of logistics at Once Like a Spark.

The UGA Idea Accelerator is a four-week, intensive business workshop pairing UGA student startups with entrepreneurs who coach them in customer discovery, financial literacy and investor readiness. The UGA Entrepreneurship Program works with two cohorts of entrepreneurs each semester.

The program awarded more than $82,500 in startup funding and helped 693 budding entrepreneurs refine their business ideas.

Twenty-two student entrepreneurs started this Idea Accelerator workshop in October but only Gaddy and one other entrepreneur participated in the final pitches

Lane Goodroe, who graduates in December with a master’s degree in agribusiness, pitched Dry Feat — a lightweight, electricity-free boot drying designed for backpackers and outdoors enthusiasts.

The mission of the UGA Entrepreneurship Program is to help develop the mindset of future entrepreneurs and prepare students for business leadership roles. UGA Entrepreneurship Program accelerators are open to UGA students and Athens community members.