The GRCEDC has announced the winners of the 2016 Business Idea Challenge, which was open to students from Albright College, Alvernia University, Baker College, Kutztown University, Penn State Berks and Reading Area Community College. The competition encouraged local college students to consider and pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. It is part of GRCEDC’s community leadership strategy to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem to make our regional economy more vibrant.
Seven teams were chosen as finalist from the 27 plans submitted. Finalist presented their ideas to a panel of
Judges in a shark tank format, who determined the top three winners based on their idea, proposed organization structure and financial assumptions/cash flow, market analysis, market strategy, presentation and response to question. The judges also provided insight from the world of business as well as mentorship guidance on both technical and soft skills to all participants on what it takes to be a successful in business and life.
The 2015 Business Idea Challenge winner, Kyle Moyer, Founder/CEO of Onuku Industries provided insight and guidance about becoming and entrepreneur. Kyle acknowledged; “It’s really exciting to see these young entrepreneurs passionate about creative and fresh ideas. It is more challenging than ever to pursue your dreams and the challenge can be very intimidating. The GRCEDC network has helped me overcome, and it feels good to be able to inspire new faces to pursue the unlimited amount of success that is achievable right here in Berks County.”
“The Business Idea Challenge is one of the initiatives that GRCEDC works on with our local Institutions of Higher Education to provide interface with business professionals to assist the students in understanding what it will take to have their idea become a reality,” said Gail A. Landis, C.P.M. Senior Vice President. “We truly appreciate our Angel Investor Sponsor, East Penn Manufacturing, for their support of awards presented to the students, and our Shark Tank Host Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP for providing the facility and refreshments.”
1st place ($1,000): A Pet’s Hotel – a kennel free care center allowing you to take pets with you on vacation.
Beth Steipen (Jr.), Justin Gibbs (Jr.) and Carolin De LA Cruz (Sr.) – Alvernia University
2nd place ($750): Ros’e Beauty Bar & Lounge – provides a unique beauty experience in a welcoming social environment. Cassidy Russo (Sr.), Caitlin George (Sr.), Hailee Cruz (Sr.) and Allison Geist (Sr.) – Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
3rd place ($250): Magnifiscent Candles – subscription box of handmade soy candles with new scents each month. Caitlin Bodner (Sr.) and Amber Albert (Sr.) – Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Our winning team has been invited to compete in the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Business Pitch Summit on April 27, 2017 at TechVentures in Bethlehem.