Entrepreneurship has been the bedrock of who we are in the business school since our founding in 1925. At that time, a group of Baltimore’s prominent business and legal leaders created a “startup university” to serve the working men and women of Baltimore.
Flash forward to the present day, and you’ll find that same entrepreneurial spirit in many of our students. They have a vision to create or grow a business, and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is helping them reach their goals. This academic year, the center held two business pitch competitions. Approximately 60 students and alumni from across the University of Baltimore colleges and schools submitted business ideas. Among those students and alumni, there were 17 finalists for the competitions.
The year ended with the Rise to the Challenge Pitch Competition, which is focused on currently enrolled students. The finalists brought their best concepts and descriptions to the April 16 finale, held in front of an audience in UB’s Learning Commons. Across five categories, the 11 student finalists vied for prize money and in-kind professional services.
One undergraduate and one graduate student won the top prize of $2,500 in the category of “Existing Business.”
Senior business administration major Collin Corcoran won $2,500 for his existing business, Premier Property Preservation. Stacy Stube, a 2008 business administration graduate who is now pursuing a second master’s degree at UB in nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship, won $2,500 for her existing business, AVEH – Art Village Education Hub.
Students who won in the category of New Business Idea included Joseph Napoli, a junior in the business administration program, who has an idea for a pet resort company called Unleash the Beach. His presentation yielded him $500.
The graduate students who won for their idea, a writing services firm they call Sounding Sea, was pitched by Jessica Welch, a 2013 graduate of UB’s undergraduate creative writing program who is currently enrolled in the Creative Writing and Publishing Arts program. She and her team won $500 for their idea. The team also garnered the Crowd Favorite award, and for that they received an additional $250.
In addition to the monetary awards, in-kind professional services such as legal advice, marketing and web development were part of the package.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is making plans for the next academic year’s business pitch competitions. Here’s what they have on tap:
Nov. 17: The Leonard and Phyllis Attman Competitive Business Prize
April 21, 2016: The Rise to the Challenge Pitch Competition