Business students participate in entrepreneurship competition

From left to right, Jake Brock, Dr. Nash, Caleb Dixon (Competition Winner), Matthew Castner (Competition Winner), and Noah White. | Photo contributed

WILLIAMSBURG - Students in the Hutton School of Business engaged in an entrepreneurship competition modeled after the popular show "Shark Tank" during the spring semester.

Students formed into teams to develop business plans and associated pitches to present during the competition. As part of the preparation process, students worked to identify business needs in various markets throughout the world, developed a business idea to meet those needs and formulated a robust and sound business plan to present to competition judges.

The competition was jointly sponsored by the University of the Cumberlands Hutton School of Business and the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Kentucky as a "Mini-Entrepreneurship Bootcamp." Dr. Warren Nash, Executive Director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, traveled to campus several times throughout the semester to work with students and competition faculty sponsors in developing, planning, and promoting the competition.

The winners of this year's competition were Matthew Castner, (senior; Cocoa Beach, FL) and Caleb Dixon (senior; Pine Knot, KY) with a business plan for "Peak's Pools," a pool-service company they plan to locate in Central Florida.

The second-place winner of the competition was Renato Skoko (senior; Siroki Brijeg, Bosnia) with a business plan for "Summer Soccer Camp." The third-place winners of the competition were Jennifer Stein (junior; Louisville, KY), Jared Kilgore (junior; Berea, KY) and Hampton Clark (senior; Athens, GA) with a business plan for "The Lane," a bowling alley and restaurant.

Several campus and community business leaders graciously agreed to volunteer their time and serve as judges for this year's competition. The judges were Dr. Chris Leskiw, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cumberlands; Dr. Anita Bowman, professor of Health, Exercise, and Sport Science at Cumberlands; Mr. Michael Sharpe, Regional President at Forcht Bank; and Mr. Noah White, London, Kentucky City Councilman, owner of The Video Guy, and realtor with Sallie Davidson Realtors in London, Kentucky.

"We are extremely proud of the work of our students through this year's HSB Entrepreneurship Competition and Mini-Boot Camp," Dr. Jake Brock, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Faculty Coordinator of this year's competition. "Their stellar efforts in developing prospective business plans and promoting those plans through their pitches to the competition judges highlight their incredible talents, business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit and capacity for professional leadership. We are exceedingly thankful for Dr. Nash and the partnership of the Von Allmen Center, as well as the investment of time and energy by our competition judges."

The Hutton School of Business plans to continue to host the Entrepreneurship Competition as an annual event each spring on Cumberlands' campus.

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