Story by: Anna Barker, MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach
Twenty-one-year-old finance major, Calvin Waddy, is focused on the future of social media.
As a high school freshman, Waddy moved from Atlanta, Georgia, to Madison County, Mississippi, where he attended Germantown High School.
The high school swimmer was set to join another university’s swim team following his high school graduation.
“My senior year, I came to MSU for a game day,” Waddy said. “I fell in love with the atmosphere, the people, and the beautiful campus. That day I told my mom I wanted to go to State.”
Right away, he enrolled to attend MSU for the Fall of 2014.
Waddy quickly got involved at MSU, serving as a member of Freshman Council, a counselor and exec member for New Maroon Camp; joining Alumni Delegates, and spending his summer as an Orientation Leader.
It wasn’t until his junior year that Waddy extended his involvement into entrepreneurship with the creation of his social media platform, The Grid. The Grid takes a modern, fresh approach to social media by reinventing the way that users connect and socialize.
“The Grid is a social media app that uses 3-D interaction,” Waddy described. “It’s a space for users to interact and chat with each other in a really new and unique way. The goal is to open up a whole new world for users to connect.”
Waddy actually came up with the concept while sitting in his microeconomics class.
“This idea sort of came to me while in class,” Waddy said. “It was this concept of combining social media with a virtual reality. After class, I immediately wrote everything down.”
He was advised by a friend to connect with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach.
“The first person I spoke to was Marshall Davis,” Waddy said. “He explained the Venture Catalyst program and told me about all of the resources that the E-Center could offer me.”
Waddy described his early interest in innovation while recounting stories from his childhood.
“As a kid, I was always curious about how things worked, and was constantly trying to make things,” Waddy said. “My mom always thought that I would eventually want to create my own company because of it.”
It wasn’t until Waddy got to MSU that he realized he could pursue it.
“I just kept asking myself ‘what am I waiting for?’,” Waddy said. “Then I found the E-Center and was able to take the initiative to make my own path.”
Waddy has spent the past two months working with the E-Center to create functioning prototypes.
“What’s so cool about the E-Center is that they get you plugged in with so many other students from the very beginning,” Waddy said. “It’s been such a huge asset because I have had so many helping hands to guide me.”
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach has awarded Waddy over $1000 in seed funding to pursue his startup.
“The biggest piece of advice that I could give someone who is interested in entrepreneurship is to start now” Waddy said. “If you have an idea or even if you are just interested in innovation, get connected with the E-Center and become a part of this network.”