Clarissa Ko ‘25 was accepted into Clark Tank 2022 – Venture Development back in October 2021 and is making every minute and every lesson count. Clarissa applied to the School of Management Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program’s Clark Tank – Venture Development with a social venture called Scavenger Venture an app-based scavenger hunt through Worcester showcasing various local hotspots such as ArtWorcester, Clark Community Thrift Store, and Annie’s Clark Brunch. There is something for everyone – art, food, shopping, and the outdoors, but her target group is incoming fall 2022 Clark first-years. She hopes to work with Clark University‘s First Year Navigator Program in fall 2022, providing another resource for the school to help new Clarkies get to know Worcester.
Clarissa’s inspiration for Scavenger Venture came from her interest in making the Clark and surrounding community her new home. Clarissa has lived in the same town her whole life and had locations that were like her little places of comfort. Thus, when she graduated from high school and moved to Clark University she wanted to absorb her new world and find new places! During her first-year experience class with Professor Quinn, ENT105 Creating a Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in the fall of 2021, Clarissa realized other new students wanted to get to know their community too but didn’t know where to start! Additionally, due to previously working as a waitress, she had first-hand experience of the drastic impact of the pandemic on local business and wanted to find a way to bring both communities together and that is what started her journey with Scavenger Venture.
Clarissa is very open and enjoys pushing herself out of her comfort zone!
Clarissa admits that she was a little nervous about Worcester as the city has a reputation for being unsafe. But, after exploring the community, she found so many beautiful places and thought that if others knew about them, they would also see the beauty of Worcester.
To be honest, I started Scavenger Venture because I was uncomfortable not knowing Worcester and hearing about it’s reputation, but by going to local business and attractions, I realized Worcester was a really great place, where there are many amazing and unique places all around, you just need to find it – Clarissa
Clarissa will be presenting her venture on February 4, 2022, at the Clark Tank – Venture Development semi-finals, in hopes of securing a spot in the finals on February 18 in Tilton Hall. The final’s judging panel will consist of five alumni and academics that are looking to award funding to Clark’s entrepreneurs. But, Clarissa is not waiting around, she also joined Clark Tank – App Design Challenge, with Matt Bailey, CEO of GameOn, to learn more about developing an app, bringing it to market, and presenting in front of investors! The app design finals are on February 28, 2022, in Winton Faculty Dining Room.
Clarissa, a true people person, really values the concept of connecting with people and communities. She is also part of the non-profit organization AEP/American Exchange Project, which is a domestic exchange with students from different parts of the US. Clarissa was one of the first participants of AEP and participated in a BBC interview as a member of the creative team. She was in many clubs in high school such as the Chinese Culture Club, AEP Club, and Creative Writing Club as well as being a waitress at Papa Razzi.
For more information on the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, Clark Tank, or E&I campus activities, please check out our student-run website www.clarkstudentventures.com.
by Clarissa Ko and Teresa Quinn, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Manager