Four winners emerged from the 2018 Leonard and Phyllis Attman Competitive Business Prize Competition event on Nov. 13, each taking home their own "big checks" and their portion of the more than $5,000 in prize money. The competition, held in the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, home of the University of Baltimore's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, showcases many of the UB community's most talented and driven entrepreneurs.
Willow Hendershot, B.S. '20, took the top prize for the evening, netting $3,000 for her startup, Prevail, the first in a series of video games that focus on mental illness awareness. In Prevail, players progress through the story of someone struggling with PTSD.
"The competition was such an amazing experience," Hendershot said. "It really validated my ideas and my research—not just winning, but the amount of people that approached me throughout the event and told me their stories of dealing with their mental illness. At the end of the day Prevail is for them and anyone else that may need that extra support, however small of an impact it makes."
Second place, and a $1,000 prize, went to Brittany Whitby, B.S. '18, MBA '20, and Demi Abromaitis, B.S. '17, who teamed up to create Charmony Naturals, a unique line of hemp-based cosmetics for a diversity of needs. Kareema McLendon, B.S. '20, whose eponymous fashion startup focused on designing, manufacturing and selling bridal gowns to women aged 30-50, took home the Crowd Favorite award of $750.
As an added highlight this year, Crystal Santiful, B.A. '19, owner of Chrystal Tutu Paradise, which offers custom fashion designs for special occasions, earned the $500 "Hustle Award." Jason Tagler, founder of Pitch Creator, presented the cash prize—rolls of $20 bills in a glass jar—to Santiful for showing the most improvement during his 4-week presentation coaching program.
Read about this year's winners in Technical.ly Baltimore.
The annual event, established by the Attman family in 2011, is sponsored by UB's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and provides an opportunity for UB undergraduates and graduates, from all four of UB's schools and colleges, to pitch ideas and concepts for new and existing businesses before a live audience of their peers, UB staff and entrepreneurial experts.
Now in its fifth year, and a highlight of Global Entrepreneurship Week on campus, the Attman Competitive Business Prize is designed to provide seed funding for and generate awareness of new and emerging innovative business ventures nurtured by the UB community.
Below is Willow Henderson holding her winning check along side of Mr. and Mrs. Attman, Murray Dalziel, dean and Henry Mortimer, of the UB CEI.