Image courtesy of Mansidak Singh
Prescott Student Entrepreneur Receives First-Ever Double Award and $1,750
By Vee Glessner, Chief Copy Editor
The TREP Expo, an exhibition of ventures and projects by Embry-Riddle students, faculty, and alumni. This year’s Expo took place over two days from Nov. 16-18, with Mansidak Singh, founder and creator of “Frost,” the only entrant representing the Prescott campus. Frost managed to take home both the People’s Choice award and 2nd place in the judges competition, the first time an entry had been awarded in both categories.
The TREP Expo has been an annual event at the Daytona Beach Embry-Riddle campus for 8 years, but this was the first time it was held online or open to the Prescott community. “I found out about it through an advert in the library,” said Singh. “I wasn’t too sure if I should participate in this because I didn’t really perceive Frost as a startup at first. It was after one of my friends asked me to go for it and present Frost in this expo that I decided to actually take the first step,” he said. Singh composed a video entry to represent his project for entry in the expo.
Frost is an online text editing platform that Singh started, being a creative writer himself. “Its focus is towards writers who wish to write in a completely distraction-free zone. It started as a small website that I created back in high school. Slowly it was developed into a fully functioning online writing application,” says Singh.
One unique aspect that Frost boasts is the ability to automatically customize music for the writers’ mood. Simply choose a theme when you begin writing, and the background, typesetting, and music will be curated for you. “It started as a lame side project which I barely had any hopes from in the very beginning,” reflected Singh. “I realized its real potential when I had some high school students reach out to me saying how Frost was helping them with their college essays and creative writing. It was then when I started adding more features and paid close attention to the user reviews and suggestions.”
Singh designed Frost as the ideal minimalist writer’s tool. “In addition to providing you a zen writing experience, Frost’s algorithm plays background ambient music according to your chosen mood,” Singh says in the video entry. “I think music is one of the most effective ways to induce mood.”
When Singh entered Frost into the TREP Expo, he wasn’t sure his product was going to land with the viewers. The judging portion of the competition consisted of a panel of experts from the fields of engineering, product development, law, aviation, and more who would choose their top three projects to win $1,500, $750, and $500. Then, there was the People’s Choice award presented to the entry with the most “likes” on its video, along with $1,000.
The voting was conducted on the university’s College of Business YouTube channel, with one viewer’s “like” considered a vote. “Honestly, I was nervous looking at the votes rolling in since I was under the assumption that submissions from Daytona might get more exposure to the public,” said Singh. However, with some diligent work marketing his entry and the support of the Prescott campus behind its only player in the ring, Frost pulled ahead of the competition: “It became somewhat obvious that Frost might get the People’s Choice of Award,” Singh said. Frost ended the voting period with over 640 likes and 3,100 views.
Although the People’s Choice award was not much of a surprise by the time voting closed, there was no indication of the panel’s favorites until the judges announced their winners. “I was totally surprised!” said Singh. “This was something which had never happened in the history of this competition and I was under absolute awe when I heard the news. At the same time, I’m super grateful to everyone who supported the project and voted for it.”
Singh plans to use the prize money for further research and development of the online product and its marketing, although the details are under wraps for now. Access Frost Writer for free at [frostwriter.com] on a laptop or desktop device. Mansidak Singh regularly updates his professional website, [mansidak.com] and LinkedIn [linkedin.com/in/mansidak].