Marquette graduate featured on Inno Under 25

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Marquette graduate featured on Inno Under 25

Menzia started the company in her final semester of Marquette.

Menzia started the company in her final semester of Marquette.

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Menzia started the company in her final semester of Marquette.

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Menzia started the company in her final semester of Marquette.

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Digital media website WisconsinInno featured Olivia Menzia, a 2019 Marquette graduate in the College of Communication, on its “Inno Under 25” list, released Sept. 18.

The list is designed to highlight rising technological leaders in Wisconsin. WisconsinInno was created in 2018 to cover and connect the state’s economy, produce digital media and events about the entrepreneurs, executives, startups, businesses, trends and topics that are shaping the present and future of Wisconsin’s economy, according to the website.

Menzia was featured on the list for her business Liv a Little Ice Cream, a vegan ice cream company she started during her final semester at Marquette. Menzia said when she started the business, it was immediately met with high demand.

“I launched it on the polar vortex day, and I got a hundred orders in two days,” Menzia said

She said the surge of orders brought its own set of problems. The ice cream making process was not as efficient as she would have liked it to be, as she could only make four orders at a time.

Menzia said she received help from the Brewed Ideas Competition, an annual pitch competition hosted by Marquette University’s 707 Hub in partnership with the Brady Corporation. Menzia won the competition and was awarded $7,000. With this funding, Menzia was able to buy a better ice cream machine and cart.   

Menzia said the help she has earned through competitions has helped her grow her business and work more efficiently. 

She said she was happy to be featured on the list.

“Usually people don’t take younger individuals seriously regardless of what they are doing, and so it was nice to get recognized and get some credibility for being younger,” Menzia said. “It has really broadened the opportunities for me and more people are continuing to reach out to me.” 

Kelsey Otero, associate director for social innovation at the 707 Hub, said she met Menzia through art and programming that Menzia was doing. Otero said the Hub still supports Menzia.

“Liv A Little continues to be part of the 707 Hub family,” Otero said. “Additionally, we have been able to purchase the dessert from Olivia for events to help give more exposure to her brand.”

Otero said she wanted to stress the idea that the 707 Hub is a resource for all students and it can help aspiring entrepreneurs.

“The biggest thing I can say is take a chance on yourself – you never know what will happen and at a minimum, you will have learned something new and met some new people”

Megan Carver, associate director for the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship, said Menzia was a regular at the 707 Hub.

Before her senior year, she participated in several events with the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship, a group Marquette dedicated to helping students develop skills, an entrepreneurial mindset and grow their networks. Carver said she continues to be a mentor for Menzia. 

“I continue to provide Olivia with ongoing mentorship and support,” Carver said. “Last week I invited Olivia to showcase her ice cream to business and community leaders at TEMPO’s 14th Annual Leadership Event featuring well-known jewelry designer, Kendra Scott. The opportunity allowed for great (exposure) of her product, with over 780 attendees.” Carver said.

Carver echoed Otero’s remarks about the 707 Hub, saying that it is imperative to have the resource on campus because the right spaces can help make ideas happen.

She also said there is a growing understanding that real breakthrough comes from people working together and mixing their ideas and insights, and this is precisely what the 707 Hub was created to do.

As of right now, Menzia has retained 100% equity of her company and is looking to move into a space to expand her business.

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