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Student entrepreneurs compete for $10,000

Posted on March 21, 2011

Watch the next generation of West Michigan entrepreneurs in the 4th Annual Grand Valley State University Business Plan Competition. Seven undergraduate student groups will compete for total prize money up to $10,000 in startup capital and the opportunity to lift their business off the ground.

During their presentation, contestants have 10 minutes to pitch their business model, and what it will take to get their business operational. The competition is an opportunity for entrepreneurial students to think through business opportunities that prepare a business plan and learn the fine art of pitching ideas to investors.

The competition is sponsored by Grand Valley’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Seidman College of Business.

GVSU Business Plan Competition
Tuesday, March 22
6-9 p.m.
Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center
Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Judges include:
Michael Hollander, vice president and regional market manager with Business Banking Group, 5/3 Bank
Michael Hyacinthe, founder of Urban Liberty
Mark Olesnavage, president of Hopen Therapeutics
Mary Reagan Shapton, founder of Reagan Marketing+Design
Jody Vanderwel, president of the Grand Angels

Featured students include:
MILES SMITH, Simplistic Innovation
Miles is a sophomore and an international business major. His company seeks to break into the niche market of the fishing industry. Smith developed a new product designed to reduce the loss of fishing lures caused by underwater snags.

FRANK LEONARD, Keg Regulator
Leonard is a senior and an operations management and marketing major. His company aims to prevent skimming (stealing) of draft beer at bars while also assisting with marketing and research concepts and distribution of draft beer.

Greer is a sophomore and an accounting and marketing major, and Mike Patterson is a senior and a finance major. Their company’s mission is to help small- to medium-sized hospitals close the gap between larger hospitals by providing unmatched inventory management strategies.

JOE PRESUTTI & CORY CAIN, Suckers for a Cause
Presutti is a sophomore and a finance and business economics major and the president of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). Cain is a business major and the past president of CEO. Suckers for a Cause seeks to create and distribute a unique line of hard-candy suckers that will support non-profit organizations and other charitable causes.

EMILY TEALL, Seven Seeds Enterprises
Teall is a sophomore and an anthropology major. Her intermediary business negotiates supply contracts between ecologically conscious small-scale farmers and food producers, and the dining services of educational institutions.

JEREMIAH CORNELL & MU YANG, The Great American Culture Company, LLC
Cornell is a senior and a marketing major, and Mu Yang is a junior and an international business major. Their organization hires American college students to help international students adapt to life in America. Employees will meet up with international students two-to-three times per week for activities such as going to the beach, camping and going to the mall.

Richard is a senior and a philosophy major. His business will grow produce to sell at both a retail and wholesale value.

For more information, contact the GVSU Center for Entrepreneurship at (616) 331-7257.

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