HPU hosts fifth annual business plan competition for student entrepreneurs

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Never has it been so important that our global economies have great entrepreneurs. Those who choose to generate an idea of their own and pursue its suc – cess are far more than salesmen and women trying to make it big. They chase not just wealth, but grand designs that will change humanity.

High Point University’s Phillips School of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and BB&T sponsor a business plan competition every year that challenges students to do just that: to pitch their concepts to a panel of experienced business men and women in order to further their entrepreneurial pursuits.

“The Business plan competition teaches students how to launch a company in real world terms,” said Kathy Elliott, director of the HPU Business Plan competition. “They go through the same process as if they were submitting to investors beyond their campus experience.”

Students competed before a varied panel of judges including Dean Painter, current investor and entrepreneur; Ray Allen, President and CEO of CII Technology in Raleigh; and Troy Knauss, ARI President and Trustee Partner.

The student generated ideas at the competition on April 23 rose to the esteemed level of these judges.

“My favorite part of the competition is seeing all of the incredible ideas that the students here at HPU bring forward,” Elliott, said. “It reinforces that we do have an entrepreneurially minded student body and that is very exciting.”

At the competition’s close, three top finalists and two honorable mention finalists won cash prizes in order to support the next steps of the product they presented.

Winning first place was Ken Fobian, who received $7,000 for his business plan, Resis – tance LLC. His concept was painting supplies coated with a special material that repels paints and other liquids from adhering to their surfaces, cutting down both the cleanup process time and the costs incurred from supplies.

Coming in second place were Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick and Emily De Lena with “Track Rabbit”, a device that allows runners to pace themselves without having to use informal and often incorrect cues from coaches or watches. The duo received $5,000 for their pace monitoring device.

Third place went to Clara Osmont for her smartphone application “Tattletale.” Her app notifies the user when a recipient has taken a screenshot of a text message conversa – tion thread.

“I was definitely nervous and excited. My heart was beating pretty fast before I got up to speak,” Osmont said. “Once I started, though, I got into the flow of things and my nerves calmed down. Everything went pretty smoothly.”

Though the cash prizes were many, the learning experience that all students took away from the fifth annual competition was priceless.

“It’s so important for HPU to host this because it encourages creative thinking to – wards business,” Osmont said. “No matter if you become an entrepreneur or not, entre – preneurial thinking is so vital to the business world. It’s another way that High Point University provides its students with an extraordinary education.”

Campus Chronicle
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