Major Gift Will Support Student Entrepreneurs

Student Entrepreneurs

Pictured above are the first recipients of the Pagon Promising Entrepreneur’s Fund at High Point University. On the top row from left to right are Joseph Cochrane-Brown, Mandy Engelman and Frazier Robinson. On the bottom row from left to right are Emily DeLena, Brandon Holder and Shakira Ramsey.

HIGH POINT, N.C., May 12, 2016 – Through a major gift, Leonard and Kata Pagon have established a new Promising Entrepreneur’s Grant Endowed Fund at High Point University to support students developing business plans, launching companies and seeking funding to move their ideas forward.

The Pagon Fund is designed to provide real-world experience so students can develop their business ideas, increase the probability of success and foster innovation. Through a competitive application process, it also provides undergraduate student entrepreneurs with direct exposure to mentors, investors, and other capital providers.

The Pagons, from Novelty, Ohio, are entrepreneurs in their own right. Leonard Pagon is the CEO of Next Sparc LLC, and Kata Pagon is a successful optometrist. Their son, Michael, is a current student at HPU.

A committee of faculty will consider applicants annually for the fund. This year, six recipients have been selected.

“High Point University is committed to instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in the minds and hearts of our students,” says Kathy Elliott, director of HPU’s Center for Entrepreneurship. “This gift advances the opportunities for our students within our entrepreneurship programs.”

The first Pagon Fund recipients and their businesses are:

-Brandon Holder, Water the World

-Emily DeLena, Domtech/Track Rabbit

-Mandy Engelman, MandyJEngelman.com

-Shakira Ramsey, Reliance Bay

-Joseph Cochrane-Brown, Deference Design

-Frazier Robinson, ICYGO

The fund reflects HPU’s commitment to free enterprise. Earlier this year, HPU opened a Center for Entrepreneurship inside Cottrell Hall, and it has hosted for the past six years an annual Business Plan Competition and Elevator Pitch Competition where students can also land start-up funds.

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