3 of 4 national entrepreneur grants go to Fordham students

From left, Makena Masterson, Michelle Berardino and Enzo Obeso.

Makena Masterson, Michelle Berardino and Enzo Obeso.

Fordham University student entrepreneurs won three out of the four grants awarded by the Kenneth Cole Foundation at the Compass Fellowship National Conference held recently atGeorgetown University.

Makena Masterson, BS ’19, Michelle Berardino, FCRH ’19, and Enzo Obeso, BS ’18, each won a $2,500 grant to advance their business ideas. They participated in the conference along with 17 other students from Fordham.

The Compass Fellowship, now named Social Impact 360, is the first and largest mentorship-based social entrepreneurship-training program on college campuses in the United States.Fordham is one of 12 U.S. universities that has been selected to participate.

The program accepts only 15 freshmen fellows from each participating university each year. Participants need to have an idea for a new venture that will contribute to the well-b

eing of their communities or society at large. They receive weekly training led by sophomore mentors and access to the national Compass community of like-minded students.

The three winning projects from Fordham represent the Compass Fellowship’s values—and the Gabelli School’s.

Masterson founded a company called Snoxsocks, a line of non-slip socks. Started while Masterson was still in high school, the business has raised nearly $9,000 in online sales, and 100 percent of the profits are donated to charity.

Berardino won for her design of an EpiPen wallet, called a Wallep, for those who have a life-threatening allergy. As a Fordham College at Rose Hill student, she demonstrates that entrepreneurship at Fordham goes beyond the business school.

Obeso, a sophomore mentor to this year’s freshman fellows, won one of two 2016 Compass Community Awards for his business, which markets backpacks with detachable compartments for cameras and disc jockey equipment. A portion of his proceeds goes to a charity which collects used sports equipment and donates it to orphanages and impoverished communities.