2014 Business Plan and Pitch Competition
Nine Michigan female entrepreneurs presented their business plans and pitches to a panel of judges recently, vying for a portion of more than $50,000 in cash and services to winners of the third much-anticipated Entrepreneur-YOU Business Plan and Pitch Competition. The competition was held at Walsh College, which is one of the collaborators behind Entrepreneur-YOU, along with the Michigan Women’s Foundation and Inforum Michigan, with support from Fifth Third Bank. Competitors were grouped in two categories – Lifestyle and Growth and evaluated on 15 criteria. Following are the winners and the value of their awards:
1st prize, Tatiana Grant, Flash Delivery, $13,900
2nd prize, Shannon Byrne, Slow Jams, $9,400
3rd prize, Yvette Rock, Live Coal Gallery LLC, $5,900
1st prize, Julie Hyde-Edwards, re-Contour Nipple Guard and Mastectomy Dressing, $13,900
2nd prize, Julie Andreae, Secure Beginnings’ Breathable Crib Mattresses, $9,400
3rd prize, Adrienne Minerick, Blood Typing Microdevice, $5,900
Providing in-kind consulting services to the winners are:
Accounting: Baker Tilly, Deloitte, and Rehmann;
PR and Marketing: Brogan & Partners, Eisbrenner Public Relations, Tanner Friedman;
Legal: Stobl Sharp, Tifani Sadek, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, and Butzel Long.
“We are ecstatic about the award,” says Tatiana Grant, Co-Owner of Flash Delivery with Ericka Billingslea, first-place winners in the Lifestyle category. Their prize money will be used for software updates, to expand the business and for branding and marketing. Flash Delivery is a restaurant and grocery delivery service based in Detroit. Grant resides in Farmington Hills. The competition “was a great experience,” Grant says. “We are more confident in our company now. The prize is like a pat on the back for our work.”
Julie Hyde-Edwards, first-place winner in the Growth category, was inspired to create a medical device to help patients going through breast reconstruction after she experienced it herself. She shared a prototype of the dressing to her surgeon, who confirmed its medical solidity; Hyde-Edwards received a U.S. Patent in April and recently received confirmation of the product’s FDA classification.
“The goal is to help women heal more beautifully from breast cancer and launch a successful business in the process,” says the Royal Oak resident. “This award is an honor. It is validation of my business concept and a motivator to move ahead. I made some valuable connections as well.” The prize is a “catalyst” for Hyde-Edwards to push forward with her business. She believes her business carries a message that oftentimes, solutions come from people in the trenches – in her case, patients. The award is validation to trust your gut and jump in to make your passion into a product that helps people, she notes.
The fourth annual Entrepreneur-YOU education conference is scheduled for Friday, March 20, 2015 at the Walsh College Troy Campus.
Standing: Mallory Sharpe, Ford Motor Company Fund; Carolyn Cassin, Michigan Women’s Foundation; Rachele Downs, Inforum Michigan; Adrienne Minnerick, Yvette Rock, Shannon Byrne, Julie Andreae, Denise Kulak, David Girodat, Fifth Third Bank; Julia Winter, Stephanie Bergeron, Walsh College. Seated: Julie Hyde-Edwards, Ericka Billingslea and Tatiana Grant.
(finalists and coaches pictured at the August orientation session.)
Thanks to these women who providing coaching support to the finalists:
ZaLonya Allen, SEMI Entrepreneurs
Julie Beamer, Executive Coach
Barbara Ciaramitaro, Walsh College
Maria Gistinger, Walsh College
Carol Glynn, Walsh College
Linda Hagan, Walsh College
Cynthia Hoffman, Oakland Community College
Nicole Huffman, Lifeline Coaching
Marilyn Opdyke, Opdyke Group
Jenny Tatsak, Walsh College
Aleta Young, Fifth Third
Diane Young, The Athena Group
Interested in promoting women's entrepreneurship in Michigan? Email Kim Cross at the Michigan Women's Foundation: email@example.com.
ENTREPRENEUR-YOU VENTURE FUNDING AWARDED TO NINE WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES
A crowd of about 75 people witnessed the business pitches of 15 women at Walsh College today in the second annual Entrepreneur-YOU competition for $75,000 in venture funding donated by Huntington Bank, The Ford Motor Company Fund and The Kellogg Foundation.
Winners were selected by a panel of judges including Nancy Phillippart, general partner of Belle Michigan; Maria Thompson, founder of T/J Technologies and executive-in-residence of Arsenal Venture Partners; Sonali Vijayavargia, founder and managing director Augment Ventures; Beverly Wall, CEO, Languages International; and Mallory Sharpe of The Ford Motor Company Fund.
The competitors were grouped in three categories – Lifestyle companies; social mission companies and high growth companies. More than 150 ventures were submitted to the competition, reviewed by business professionals, who selected the 15 finalists. The finalists prepared written business plans and presented a four-minute pitch before the judges in today’s final competition.
Following are the winners and their prizes:
1st place Garden Hoard, Katie Flickinger, Livonia $10,000
2nd place Ribbon Farms Hops, Susan McCabe, Detroit $7,500
3rd place Teatroiter, Kristen Pfeifer, Dearborn $5,000
1st place CentriCycle, Jenna Boeing, Ann Arbor $10,000
2nd place Play Place for Autistic Children, Shell Jones, Sterling Heights $7,500
3rd place SEVA Corp. Shwetha Maddur, Novi $5,000
1st ENT BioTech Solutions, Andrea Roumell Dickson, Detroit $15,000
2nd place Opti 02, Ruby Ghosh, Okemos $10,000
3rd place AdAdapted, Molly McFarland, Ann Arbor $5,000
Finalist names and descriptions.
Three of the five contestants in each category will be awarded funds from Huntington Bank, and The Ford Motor Company Fund.
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2012 Competition Winners
Capturing first place and winning $15,000 plus in-kind support was Ann Arbor resident Angelique Johnson, interim CEO and CTO of MEMStim LLC. Her company developed a fully automated manufacturing process for electrode lead production employing nanofabrication of thin films. MEMStim LLC intends to disrupt the neurostimulator market with a new automated nanofabrication manufacturing method to replace hand-assembly.
“My company is focused on implantable nerve stimulators to replace lost nerve function. Our intent is to treat conditions such as chronic pain, hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease,” said Johnson.
Johnson, who recently earned her PhD in electrical engineering, is the inventor of MEMStim's patent-pending technology. She has 10 years of experience working on bridging the gap between research-based devices and biocompatible neurostimulation devices. To view a short video of Angelique please click here.
Second place went to Susan Land Sprentall of Wixom, who received $10,000 and in-kind support. Her company, SurClean, Inc. has developed disruptive technology to selectively remove paint and other surface coatings from multiple types of surfaces. SurClean's proprietary system represents the next generation of surface coating removal. Sprentall is CEO and owner of American Laser Enterprises, providing manufacturing and technical engineering services to laser equipment OEMs, system integrators, distributors, and end users. She is a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of extensive technical sales and marketing experience as well as 13 years in the laser industry.
“Laser technology is an exciting field and developing the SurClean product is rewarding since we are not only reducing cost, but eliminating hazardous waste while creating a safe environment for the operator,” said Sprentall. “Placing in this competition helps build credibility with the investment community knowing our business plan has been vetted by a reputable group of business leaders.” To view a short video of Susan please click here.
Winning third place in the Entrepreneur-YOU competition and receiving $5,000 plus in-kind support was Angela McCommons. Her company, Kids Kruiser LLC is a premium transportation service; serving youth ages 3 - 18 in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas of Southeastern Michigan. Kids Kruiser was established to provide a safe, reliable, child-friendly transportation service for young children and teens, and alleviate this growing stressor for parents and their children. McCommons, president and sole owner of Kids Kruiser, has professional experience at Chrysler Group LLC in problem solving, quality control and manufacturing resident engineering, as well as consulting her self-employed husband in growing his successful barber business. To view a short video of Angela please click here.
Highlights from the 2013 Entrepreneur-YOU Conference
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