‘Tiny Home’ Resort Idea Propels Duquesne Business Students into CMU Venture Finals

A team of three students from Duquesne University's A.J. Palumbo School of Business Administration's entrepreneurship program has been invited to present as finalists at this weekend's Carnegie Mellon University Venture Challenge (CMUVC).

Seniors Cara Berrigan, Tess Dorr and Colin MacFarlane will represent Duquesne on Saturday, April 2, as one of only 12 finalists/teams selected from around the country to present the business plan for their company, Peregrinator's Paradise.

Part of Duquesne's revised curriculum in the entrepreneurship program is a focus on a senior capstone project in which teams of students launch their own new ventures, take on entrepreneurial projects in existing firms or help organizations with social missions.

Peregrinator's Paradise-so named because to peregrinate means to travel-responds to two growing trends: the tiny-home minimalist movement and low-cost travel accommodation alternatives such as Airbnb. The company will offer budget-conscious travelers a low-cost alternative to expensive lodging by maintaining three tiny-home units clustered on a small plot of land. Two of the units will be available for rent, and the third will be privately owned by a property manager who will live on-site, manage the homes and oversee the guests.

According to Dr. Jack Mason, director of the entrepreneurship program, students are encouraged to participate in challenges such as the CMUVC while Duquesne's entrepreneurship program develops its own. "As a part of the capstone course, students pitch their ideas, select business concepts, form teams and actually try to launch a business in the spring of their senior year," explained Mason. "This is the first year that one of our teams has made the CMUVC finals. Many larger companies that are continually reinventing themselves value our graduates who have the entrepreneurial mindsets, skills and knowledge to be successful in such a dynamic environment."

Each team in the CMUVC can work with a mentor to prepare for the challenge. Throughout the semester, Peregrinator's Paradise has been working with Joe Calloway, founder of boutique residential real estate investment company RE360.

Teams will give an eight-minute presentation on their business plan, followed by a six-minute Q & A session from the judges. Winners will be awarded monetary and other prizes.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.