Grace College Business Plan Competition
The Grace College Business Plan Competition is a Shark Tank-like event that challenges business students to think like a CEO, innovate like an entrepreneur, and pitch like a salesman for the chance to win up to $14,000 in prize money. All students are invited to participate in the competition, but entrepreneurial management majors are required to participate. Students begin preparing for the competition in the fall, and the college business plan competitors are narrowed down to the top four at the end of the semester.
In the weeks leading up to the competition, the Service Core Of Retired Executives (SCORE) visits the class and helps guide students through the process. When it comes to the final competition, five businessmen and women are brought in as judges to determine a winner based on value proposition, competitive advantage, profitability, and an intangible factor during the competition.
Melissa Chappell who teaches the class and runs the competition said, “The students have an incredible opportunity to develop their idea into a solid business plan that is prepared, studied, refined, and presented for competition. We look forward to what new ideas will be presented each year!”
2023 Winner: Kiersten Martin
1st Place Business Name: All ABoard Educators
Description: All ABoard Educators allows teachers to decorate their bulletin boards instantly, saving teachers time and allowing them to focus on their students or spend their free time with family and friends.
Winner Bio: Kiersten Martin, Elementary Education
2022 Winner: Kaley Dawson
1st Place Business Name: Kaley’s Cupcakes
Description: Instead of a simple dessert table off in the corner, Kaley’s Cupcake Trailer offers an unforgettable experience to party guests.
Winner Bio: Kaley Dawson (SO), Entrepreneurial Management
2021 Winner: Mitchell Bowen
1st Place Business Name: Recollection Project
Description: Business provides high detail art work for the travel industry, cities, and businesses.
Winner Bio: Mitchell Bowen (SR), Visual Communication and Design
2021 2nd Place Winner: Mackenzie DeLong
2nd Place Business Name: A Rae of Beauty
Description: Business idea follows a student licensed in two states for a plan for hairdressing, boutique, and hair braiding currently and after graduation.
Winner Bio: Mackenzie DeLong (SR) Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing, Master of Business Administration
2020 Winner: Jessica Vandenboom
Business Name: Color by Maze
Description: Software generated designs that can be colored with pencils.
Winner Bio: Jessica Vandenboom (SR), Facility & Event Management, Marketing
2019 Winner: Emily Anderson
1st Place Business Name: FOREVERGREEN Farms
Description: Provides potted Christmas trees to be rented or sold for the season. Unsold trees are re-planted and re-used. Plans to expand to a farm retail business.
Winner Bio: Emily Anderson (SR) Entrepreneurial Management
2nd Place Business Name: b. marie
Description: Provides women with upscale gowns at up-cycled prices. A traveling boutique with pop-up fashion shows and rolling inventory.
Winner Bio: Brookelyn Smith (SR), Entrepreneurial Management, MBA
2018 Winner: Micah Bradley
1st Place Business Name: Barnwood Masters
Description: Using reclaimed materials from antique barns and other structures to create quality wood products and to supply usable lumber for home and business décor.
Winner Bio: Micah Bradley (SR), Entrepreneurial Management
2nd Place Business Name: STOPCART
Description: STOPCART’S primary objective is to provide a licensed product that reduces three main issues. These issues include the loss of shopping carts, injuries sustained through the use of shopping carts, and loss of cash flow, occurring at retail stores everyday
Winner Bio: Trevor Bowerbank (SO), Entrepreneurial Management
2017 Winner: Matthew McNeal
Business Name: Backbone Custom Pedalboards
Description: Custom boards for those with a precise ear
Winner Bio: Matthew McNeal (SR), General Business and MBA student
2016 Winner: R. Wesley Gensch
Business Name: CoolCorp
Description: Personal Cryotherapy Products
Winner Bio: R. Wesley Gensch (SR), Sport Management, Business Administration
2015 Winner: Cassandra Jensen and Daniel Sponaugle
Business Name: MudLOVE
Description: Handcrafted clay jewelry
Winner Bio: Cassandra Jensen (SO), Marketing, General Business Daniel Sponaugle (SR), Math Education
2014 Winner: Dennis Williams
Business Name: Book Vybz
Description: College/University textbook online service
Winner Bio: Dennis Williams (SR), Management of Information Systems, Business Administration, & Web Design & Development
2013 Winner: Joy Itiola
Business Name: Eulalie
Description: Design Company using African textiles
Winner Bio: Joy Itiola, Business Administration & Marketing