We are pleased to announce that Kathy Crosby, CEO of Goodwill Industries, will provide the keynote address at the 2012 Business Plan Competition. The keynote address social entrepreneurship and how to recognizing social problems and use entrepreneurial principles to organize, develop and manage thriving value-centered businesses.
The next generation of entrepreneurs will put their ideas to the test, competing for cash prizes in Grand Valley State University's fifth annual Business Plan Competition. Eight student entrepreneurs will put their innovative ideas to the test, competing for $10,000 in cash prizes and the opportunity to share their business idea. Here are the final 8 who will be competing for $10,000 in cash prizes:
- AL&S Solutions, LLC (Thad Cummings, Natural Resource Management Major). A distribution business for compostable foodservice items as well as a compost-pick up service.
- BAHRS, LLC (Miles Smith, international Business & Marketing Major). BAHRS, LLC is a company focused on improving conditions in the sport fishing industry by developing and commercializing The Break Away Coupling.
- CityTrend (Matt Tyndall, Computer Science Major). CityTrend is a website and mobile phone app that allows an individual to see what's going on or "trending" in their city as its happening.
- Converj Social Media (Ryan Skonieczny, Finance & Management Major). Converj will manage the social media strategies of small to medium sized businesses, improve internet presence, integrate web 2.0 apps and provide analytic-driven research and feedback.
- Designer Vents (Jon Rasmussen, Marketing Major; and Sam Rasmussen, Management Major). Designer Vents manufacturers personalized register wall vents.
- Famora (Saeed Koohpayeh, Marketing & Management Major). Famora is a perfume company that customizes perfume for individuals and small retailers.
- Ride Haus (Adam Ingraham, Master in Business Administration; and Justin Martisius, Master of Science in Accounting). Ride Haus is an urban, modular bicycle locker rental system.
- T.W.I.N. (Cody Zuiderveen, International Business & Accounting Major; and Grady Zuiderveen, Biology & Biomedical Science Major).Transforming a World in Need (T.W.I.N.) is a non-profit organization that creates and distributes alternative water purification systems and green energy to the developing world.
We invite you to support and encourage these young entrepreneurs by attending the competition. During their presentation contestants have 10 minutes to pitch their business model and what it will take to get their business operational. The pitch is followed by Q&A from our panel of West Michigan five judges. The following veteran volunteers from the West Michigan business and entrepreneurship community will be judging the plans:
- Merrill Guerra - Executive Director, Michigan Venture Capital Association
- Bill Holsinger-Robinson - Principal, B H R Consulting
- Jason Pliml - Technology Business Consultant, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center
- Tim Streit - Managing Director, Huron River Ventures
- Tim Syfert - Visiting Instructor of Management, Grand Valley State University
The winner of the competition will move on to the regional competition on April 15. The event, sponsored by The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is March 29 at 6 p.m. in the Loosemore Auditorium of the DeVos Center on Grand Valley's Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Parking will be provided in the Grand Valley Fulton St. Lot.
When & Where
Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University serves to champion and catalyze the vocation of entrepreneurship. To accomplish this mission, the CEI practices two objectives: talent development and the support for businesses.