Heading down Main Street on a Saturday night with your best friends determined to have a fun time at the bar is a common story for many students here at the University of Delaware and universities in general. Most students know the danger associated with drinking recklessly and take precautions to be responsible drinkers, however, there is one scenario that can get the better of even the most vigilant people. Someone slipping “something” into their drink. An unfortunate situation that has been victimizing innocent drinkers all around the world.
So many ideas on how to combat this situation have been presented but never have they been totally foolproof. That's where SafeSip comes in. Imagine if you have or were provided by the bartender with a straw that changes colors when it interacts with a drug in your drink. Although SafeSip remains an idea for now, it could be a complete game changer, as there are preventative methods to prevent getting a roofied drink but never a reliable way to tell if it actually happens. This product would appeal to two parties of the situation, innocent drinkers and the bars themselves. Drinkers can always use preventative measures such as the NightCap Scrunchie that is an easy way to securely cover your drink then SafeSip can be an active measure. Bars know about the dangers but tend to shy away from advocacy to not be held liable. Again, SafeSip could be an active tool to help people and the bar. SafeSip is Mackenzie Frank's way to use entrepreneurship as a tool to save lives, one drink at a time.
“I think that the ultimate goal would just be to save the next person. No matter how many sales or how much money it would rack in, as long as it is able to help someone. That's one person that doesn't have to deal with that trauma, or that health bill, or that fear for the rest of their life. I think that would be the real goal with the product,” said Mackenzie.
With a passion for helping others, Mackenzie Frank is the wit behind the revolutionary idea of SafeSip. She is a remarkable student from Pennsylvania who skipped her senior year of high school to become a UD freshman majoring in Entrepreneurship. She has always had an interest in entrepreneurship from when she had an online Etsy shop with her mom all when she was just a middle schooler. That experience evolved into a full blown desire to be an innovator. Right from the beginning of her time at UD she learned about Horn Entrepreneurship and knew it was a community she had to be a part of.
As a brand new VentureOn member, Mackenzie is able to work alongside other like-minded students as well as gain valuable insights from the entrepreneurial leaders. She was also very delighted to be around such warm people at Horn’s 2023 Fall Pitch Party. She describes the experience to be very helpful due to the E-Club students’ leadership, the judge panel’s friendliness, and everyone’s overall welcoming nature that showed they just want to help and teach people at an event like this. SafeSip was Mackenzie’s pitch at Pitch Party, and her first chance to try her hand at pitching. She knew public speaking and pitching was going to be a valuable skill she needs to learn for success. So Mackenzie seized the opportunity to practice pitching, and to her surprise she was extremely successful. She placed in 3rd, winning 100 dollars from the prize pool, and was also awarded a superlative for “Most Promising”.
“I learned a lot about myself and gained a sense of self, just throughout that whole experience. I've never really publicly spoken before. The goal wasn't to win per se, it was really just for me to try something new. I really did doubt myself when I went into it but then I was really proud of my pitch and myself for going out there and succeeding in the end,” said Mackenzie.
Though SafeSip was conceived mainly for Mackenzie to use for Pitch Party, she sees the potential in a product like this. This early in her entrepreneurial career, SafeSip is still simply an idea but just for now. She claims later on it would be great to get some chemical engineering students involved, and also possibly reach out to colleges and bars to see if they would be interested. Even at a conceptual level, everyone at Pitch Party could clearly see how great this idea is and could turn out to be.
“The idea is a great solution to a very real and very impactful issue. The more products we have on the market to protect individuals’ safety, the better,” said Maggie Nelson, a 2023 Fall Pitch Party judge.
Horn’s bi-annual Pitch Parties always bring together such an outstanding bunch of students who think outside the box and find solutions for problems we desperately need answers to. It's wonderful to see that kind of talent and ambition from a freshman like Mackenzie, who is determined to get involved more and blossom as an entrepreneur to help others in any way she can.
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at the University of Delaware. Currently ranked among the best entrepreneurship programs in the US, Horn Entrepreneurship was built and is actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, empowering aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world.