Rising up in Dallas, finance junior Trenton Malcombe discovered assist and love by way of his devoted Baptist household and congregation. When he arrived at UT, Malcombe felt an absence of religious steerage and struggled for months to discover a place of worship with an identical neighborhood.
It wasn’t till Malcombe utilized to the Forty Acres Founders program, a scholarship program for pupil entrepreneurs, that he determined to pioneer his personal answer: ChurchSearch.
A web based software that matches college students with church buildings of their space, ChurchSearch hopes to raised facilitate the transition to school for incoming Christian college students. Premiering this August, the web site goals to streamline Google searches and supply customers with data on congregation measurement, preaching fashion, atmosphere and ministry.
Malcombe first pitched ChurchSearch to the Forty Acres Founders alumni in 2020. Lower than 5 of 20 finalist candidates obtained funding for his or her start-ups. Not solely did ChurchSearch win funding, but it surely additionally obtained recognition as one in all 2022’s most disruptive enterprise faculty start-ups by the education-centered information group Poets & Quants.
“(Malcombe) resides proof of what the endowment fund is all about,” mentioned Stephen Maeker, a Forty Acre mentor and donor. “After an preliminary discuss with him I used to be impressed, and extra importantly, fascinated with what he was attempting to do. You bought a younger man attempting to make a distinction.”
Chemistry junior Cady Johnson mentioned she confronted an identical wrestle to Malcombe’s when searching for a spiritual neighborhood at UT. Although she obtained dozens of flyers and playing cards promoting providers round Austin, Johnson mentioned she had issue selecting a congregation that shared her values.
“My church must be affirming to the LGBTQ+ neighborhood,” Johnson mentioned. “An internet site that tells you extra a few group’s denomination and worship service is fascinating to me. When I attempt to do my very own analysis on church buildings, they don’t often inform you in the event that they’re welcoming or not. It’s scary to stroll into a brand new atmosphere unseen.”
Malcombe and his highschool pal Preston Cook dinner, a administration data programs senior, have so far enlisted 10 native church buildings for his or her web site. Cook dinner, who supervises the venture’s digital programming and coding, hopes the enterprise will embrace extra pupil crowdsourcing and develop into completely different Texas cities and universities.
Whereas Malcombe mentioned he seems ahead to seeing his ardour develop, his precedence stays giving again to his friends.
“Whereas I perceive church buildings have objectives about attendance and rising, we don’t actually deal with that,” Malcombe mentioned. “For us, it’s in regards to the folks, the neighborhood and the relationships. The largest factor we need to do is assist present for others. If I may give only one pupil a way of neighborhood, I’ve succeeded.”