The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Grove City College crowned the winners of their 14th annual Business Plan Competition on Saturday, April 30th at the College’s annual Recognition Convocation.
A total of 25 teams comprised of 45 students from 14 different majors entered this year’s competition in the Social Enterprise and Commercial Enterprise categories. Nine teams made it to the final round, from which the winners were chosen.
“Our competition combines the passion and talent of entrepreneurially-minded students, the professional expertise and guidance of faculty, alumni, and friends, and the support of our generous sponsors. We are very proud of our students’ efforts and can report that through the years, our competitions have produced many innovative and socially-minded business successes,” Lynn Stillwaggon, program manager for The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and coordinator of the event, said.
Winners in the Social Enterprise category are:
• 1st ($5,000) – Elisabeth O’Brien ’16, Hannah Vaccaro ’18 and Victoria O’Brien ’17 for Life Launch, an entertaining tool to teach high school students the long-term effects of everyday financial decisions.
• 2nd ($3,000) – Amy Rumbaugh ’16, Bryan Thomas ’16 and Amy Trageser ’16 for Restored Living, a business offering upcycled furniture to fund educational opportunities for exploited women.
• 3rd ($2,000) – Turner Dalmaso ’18 and Travis Yohey ’18 for Karenge Specialities, a commercial livestock farm in Rwanda that will support the local community and spread the Gospel.
Winners in the Commercial Enterprise category are:
• 1st ($5,000) – Ben Che ’16 for Carest, a total care solution for patients with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them.
• 2nd ($3,000) – Nate Bergey ’16, Devin Bergey ’16, Drew Risinger ’16, Megan Lynskey ’16 and Micah Koegler ’16 for LightBrush, an app-controlled light painting tool.
• 3rd ($2,000) – Logan Hammerschmitt ’16, Ben Tobias ’18 and Erik Carlstrom ’16 for Immerse, a virtual reality tool for the everyday consumer.
In addition to cash prizes, winners at each level also receive professional, legal, accounting and web-based consulting services.
More than 59 alumni and friends participated in the competition by serving as mentors and reviewers, advising teams and evaluating their written plans.
Alumni and friends of the College served as judges in the final round of the competition. Jay DiNucci ’87 (Red Oak Advertising), Kyle English (Community Foundation of Western PA & Eastern OH), Wendy Mascio ’88 (Medical Equipment Source), Doug Muetzel ’80 (Wesley Spectrum Services), and Zoe Simek ’14 (Silver Ring Thing) judged the Social Enterprise presentations. Tim Habbershon ’81 (Fidelity Investments and Babson College), George Hall ’88 (LINQ Services), Matt Knouse ’92 (Performance Roofing Associates and The Performance Realty Group), Drew McCandless ’84 (The Sherwin-Williams Company), and Tim Tobitsch ’03 (Franktuary) judged the Commercial Enterprise presentations.
The annual Business Plan Competition is coordinated by The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The competition provides an opportunity for all Grove City College students to learn the importance of developing a solid business plan, identifying strategies and risks and presenting their plans to potential investors. The names of this year’s recipients will join past winning teams on a permanent display plaque located on the third floor of the Hall of Arts and Letters on campus.
The competition is sponsored by: The Habbershon Family, Drew ’84 and Shelley McCandless, Ed ’71 and Cindy ’72 Crooks, Rebecca ’79 and Blaine Hurst, S&T Bank, Wesley Spectrum Services, Stillwaggon & McGill CPAs, Social Animal Media, Cedric E. Lewis, JD/MBA, Pittsburgh Web Design, and The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Their monetary and in-kind donations following the competition will enable the winners to continue to pursue their business ideas with the goal of making them a reality.