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Big Idea Business Plan Competition Winners Announced

May 01, 2014

Category: Academics, Business & Economics, Events, Students


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Mr. Ralph W. Ketner with students from
Carson High School students (1st Place)

Carson High School students from Colleen Young's Entrepreneurship Class were recognized April 30 during an awards ceremony held at Catawba College. These students, who together won a $1,000 cash prize, came in first place in the high school division in Catawba's Ketner School of Business "Big Idea Business Plan" Competition with their RoCo To Go business plan.

Colleen Young said her students had "a fantastic time" and added, "I am so grateful they were able to participate in such a fun and rewarding learning experience."

A large and enthusiastic crowd was on hand for the awards ceremony, including judges, mentors, faculty from Livingstone, Catawba and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, students and teachers from Rowan-Salisbury Schools, and participants in the High School, College and Adult Divisions of the contest. Food Lion Founder, Mr. Ralph Ketner, was also in attendance and was thanked by co-hosts Dr. Pamela Thompson and Dr. Eric Hake for his service and philanthropy to the college and community. Mr. Ketner was the sponsor of the competition which awarded "Big Idea" lapel pins and certificates to all participants, and prizes totaling $5000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of the business plan competition in each of the three categories.

Round 1 of the competition involved submission of the overall business idea. After initial judging, eight competitors moved into the final round which required submission of a "Business Model Canvas" and a three-minute video pitch for the business. Final round competitors were assigned a mentor (local business professional) in order to help develop the final submission for judging and awards.

The event featured the business plan video pitches of all finalists, with awards announced by sealed envelope delivered to the stage by Catawba accounting professor and Big Idea judge, Darin Spencer, MBA, CPA. The event was taped and will be featured on the Catawba Business YouTube channel.

First prize winners took home $1,000, with second prize winners awarded $500, and third prize winners received $250. Award winners and their Ketner Big Idea entry include:

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All Contest Winners

Adult Division:
1st: By His Grace Ventures, Inc. (Beautiful You Minerals) by Carolyn Davis
2nd: MJJM Enterprises by Matthew McCullough and Janeria McCullough
3rd: I Am Priceless by Shaunice Sasser

College Division:
1st: Rosa Lee Active Media, LLC by DaQunda Magwood
2nd: GameOn by Lincoln Anderson
3rd: Capture This by Zhaquondalee Greer

High School Division:
1st: RoCo To Go by Carson High School Entrepreneurship Class:
Cameron Cabrera, J.C. Carpenter, Tommy Dang, Tonny Dang, Jennifer Eury, Grayson Haff, Jon-Marc Overby, Lucas Safrit, Alishia Sears (Teacher Colleen Young)
2nd: Red's Diner/Average Joe's by Salisbury High School Students:
Zack Bates, Keegan Giste (Teacher Tim Pittman)

Chairs, Judges and Mentors of the Competition are:

Chairs:
Drs. Phillip Frank and Pamela Thompson, Catawba College

Judges:
Nick Goodman, MBA, Director of Business Affairs, Nazareth Children's Home
Colin Pillay, PhD, Professor of Business and Entrepreneurial Studies, Livingstone College
Darin Spencer, MBA, MAcc, CPA, Professor of Accounting and Business, Catawba College
Robert VanGeons, MSED, Executive Director, Rowan Works (Salisbury Rowan EDC)
Brannon Williams, MBA, Art's Cube, Business Consultant

Mentors:
Richard Browne, MBA, Marketing Consultant
Sheila Brownlow, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Catawba College
Frank Farina, JD, CPA, Professor of Accounting and Business Law, Catawba College
Jessica Gaskill, Marketing Specialist, Rowan Works
Aaron Goss, MBA, JD, Attorney, Wallace & Graham, P.A.
Barbara Hall, Director, Small Business Development Center, Rowan Cabarrus Community College
Dana Lanham, MBA, Professor of Marketing, Catawba College, Fun2Market
Charles Muse, PhD, Professor, Chair Business Advisory Board Catawba College
David Post, JD, Entrepreneur and CEO, MedExpress Pharmacy
Elaine Spaulding, President, Rowan Chamber of Commerce

First Round Participants Receiving Lapel Pin and Certificates:
Tata Communications by Dennis Stiller
The Chili Croc by David Jones
Home $avings School by David Crescenzo
Jones Inc. by Hartland Jones
True Teeth by Zack LaFavre
Elijah Wittum Photography by Elijah Wittum
ID A Fish by Michael Trombino
Agri-Go! By Jake Breig and Marshall Ritchie
Overthinking It by Christopher Gratton
Better Partner by Toomas Goutt
Benpol by Rafal Baran
IndieStream Radio by Tyler Peart
Smart Paper by Carla Wilson