Ladies who launch: Dorm room startups

These women entrepreneurs managed to balance starting a new company and schoolwork.

Uncharted Play
MPW startups uncharted play
Founder(s): Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman
Age: 24, 24
School: Harvard University
Graduation: 2011

Matthews and Silverman came up with the idea for their company, Uncharted Play, while juniors at Harvard. Both had traveled abroad during college and realized that no matter how poor or power-deprived the area, its residents consistently played footie. Uncharted Play's first product, the SOCCKET ball, piggybacks this love of soccer: It acts as a portable generator, storing energy built up during play that can be used later to charge lamps, mini-fridges, cell phones, and more. The company partnered with NGOs and confirmed over 10,000 SOCCKETs for distribution across Africa, Latin America and the U.S. by February 2013.

The entrepreneurs started at Harvard Business School this fall. "Do I sleep? Not really—but I'm 24 years old, so I can afford to lose a bit of sleep if it means doing something that really matters to me," says Matthews.

Up next? The LUDO, a smart ball fitted with a chip that tracks and records the hours of play—and wirelessly uploads the information to Uncharted Play's online giving platform, The PlayFund. Their goal is to create a currency, allowing those in the developing world to purchase resources with their hours of play.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 27 2012 02:56 PM ET
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