HIGH POINT, N.C., April 24, 2015 – Four High Point University students landed thousands of dollars in start-up funds to launch their own business after pitching their plans to local investors and entrepreneurs.
Ken Fobian was selected as the first place winner and recipient of $7,000 for his business plan, Resistance LLC, at the university’s fifth annual Business Plan Competition. It was held April 23 and also awarded $5,000 to Emily De Lana and Sara Kirkpatrick for their company, Track Rabbit, and $2,500 for third place winner Clara Osmont’s Tattle Tail.
“I have that entrepreneurial passion and I have always wanted to start my own company,” says Fobian. “I am going to pursue the company upon graduating and it feels great that all of the hard work paid off. I am grateful for the help from everyone from HPU and the motivation from my friends and family. This is a huge help and a big step. I am very excited.”
Fobian’s company is designed to create painting supplies to make life easy. Each product is layered with a special coating that repels paints and other liquids from its surface. Consumers save valuable time by significantly reducing the clean-up process. They are able to reduce expenses from the longevity and durability of each Resistance product. The current product line includes paint buckets, paint roller frames, paint trays and booties.
De Lana and Kirkpatrick’s invention will address the need athletes have to pace themselves during their practices. Currently, they use watches, verbal signals and teammates to attempt to keep on pace. Track Rabbit solves this problem in a unique way. The device will allow a runner to actually see a computer generated line in order to know what time or distance they have beat. The primary target market for this product will be athletes in colleges and universities.
Osmont’s app Tattle Tail notifies you when someone has taken a screenshot of your text messages on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. There will be two versions of Tattle Tail, the basic free version and the upgraded version that will give you details about who has taken the screenshot. The app will produce revenues through ads and upgrades.
Two other finalists who competed, Lindsay Ryan and Kristopher Hovland, will also receive cash prizes for their business plans.
The competition is sponsored by High Point University’s Phillips School of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and BB&T. All finalists were challenged to submit a business plan and present it in front of a panel of several judges consisting of local business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors. The business plans were evaluated on multiple criteria, including financial feasibility, uniqueness of the product or service, and clarity of the business model.
“Having the experience to tell someone about what you are doing and how passionate you are is a great first step in a business planning process,” says Dalton Grien, Fund Executive at Piedmont Angel Network and one of the judges. “This was a great learning experience for the HPU students, and I think all of them did an excellent job. I was very impressed with the presentations.”
“The High Point University Business Plan Competition serves as a catalyst for our students to execute game-changing creative ideas,” says Kathy Elliot, assistant professor and director of entrepreneurship. “There are serious payoffs as well, from validating their business idea, to receiving mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs. The finalists have worked very hard and represent High Point University for the entrepreneurial spirit it is known for.”