Community-Minded Student Entrepreneurs Selected to Speak at Upcoming TEDxMemphis

two college students seated next to each other
Kynnedy Tuggle (left) and Cinthya Bolanos

Not only are Rhodes students Kynnedy Tuggle and Cinthya Bolanos sophomore educational studies majors from Memphis, but they also are two community-minded entrepreneurs who have been invited to speak at the upcoming TEDxMemphis.

Established in 1984, TED began as a conference for technology, entertainment, and design, and today it covers various topics with the goal of making great ideas accessible. Independently run TEDx events, like the one in Memphis on Jan. 6 at Halloran Centre, help to spark meaningful conversations and community connections.

Rhodes alumni Jen Andrews ’06 and Josh Spickler ’97 also are among the 24 speakers who will be featured at third TEDxMemphis, themed “The Slant.” Attendees are encouraged to take a new point of view regarding various topics ranging from city planning and food to storytelling and the MLK50 commemoration. “Racial Identity and Politics in the Digital Age” is the topic of  Tuggle and Bolanos’ presentation.

“Our thinking is increasingly shaped by the effects of social media, particularly by the ways in which we identify and affirm ourselves,” says Tuggle. “With the rise of social media, we are constantly presented with new content, but does this help or harm us? Our goals for the talk is to simply answer this question with facts revolving around Black Twitter, the 2016 Presidential Election, and news outlets.”

At Rhodes, Tuggle is an event coordinator for the Black Student Association, a member of the Entrepreneurship Club, the secretary of Poetic Liberation, and a leader of AWSOME, a group for Africana women on campus. She also is the owner of Love In A Kup, a cupcake business designed to provide quality yet affordable sweet treats for neighborhoods that haven’t traditionally had bakeries. Her favorite quote is “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”  

Bolanos is a Day Scholar, the treasurer for the Latinx Student Association, and a member of the Entrepreneurship Club. This past summer, she was an intern at Regional One Health and developed an innovation playbook that consists of its employees leading ideation workshops, testing methods, and executing ideas. She currently is developing an ordering and delivery system called Clu that is designed for sports stadiums. She has been actively participating in activities such as StarCo’s 48hr Tech Launch to better prepare her for her new business endeavor and to connect her with the entrepreneurship community in Memphis. “There’s no competition when you’re chosen” is her favorite quote.  

To learn more about TEDxMemphis, visit here.