It’s finally time to announce the winners of the Stukent Entrepreneur of the Year Scholarship! Many of the applicants had great business ideas and well thought-out plans, which made the decisions difficult. All applicants should be proud of the efforts they made.
I launched this entrepreneur scholarship to promote entrepreneurship in students. I chose three high school and three higher education students to receive a $500 scholarship, an hour of consulting with myself, and an hour of consulting with the Stukent CMO, Trevor Erikson.
I have a passion for entrepreneurship because I am an entrepreneur at heart. I started my first business, The Christmas Light Guys, when I was 21 years old. At about that same age, I came across an entrepreneurship scholarship and applied. I wasn’t awarded the scholarship, but it planted a seed in me. It taught me how to lay out a complete business plan and spurred my entrepreneurial creativity.
Without further adieu, here are the winners of the Stukent Entrepreneur of the Year Scholarships!
2019 Stukent Entrepreneur of the Year Higher Education Winners
Claire Rasmussen, Langara College
Supported by: Professor Bernard Maroney and Professor Stephanie Koonar Group Members: Rodrigo Pipoli, Ben Neuman, Georgia Walley, and Savi Ongaro-Fatiaki
“LineTime is a mobile app that allows users to check local wait times for popular venues in the downtown core of Vancouver. On the business-to-business side, this venture will be an advertising intermediary that provides advertising space along with the ability to target a niche market.”
“The initial investment will be used mainly on the app development.”
Why I chose Claire: Her thorough business plan was impressive—especially in assessing the financial aspects of the business. And, she is solving a problem we have all faced.
Nancy Suffield, Pasadena City College
Supported by: Dr. Kimberly Shediak
“Careful Editor offers editing and proofreading services to perfect your written word. Our commitment is to offer personalized service and great attention to detail to help you achieve your professional and academic goals.”
“The funds will help me to promote the business online.”
Why I chose Nancy: I like her idea because it’s like Uber for editing. Also, it’s not just a plan. She has already taken action.
Samuel Padilla, Morningside College
Supported by: Professor Dean Stevens
“STEVEN is an online platform that helps international students adapt to the U.S. culture and education system through online video courses and mentorship. The videos are structured in modules covering things from how to adjust to the culture, to how to adapt to the education system.”
“Part of the investment would go towards legal advising.”
Why I chose Samuel: I love that his mission aligns with the mission of Stukent: To help educators help students help the world. I also love that he has already gone to work on his plan.
2019 Stukent Entrepreneur of the Year High School Winners
Sophia Prakas, Easley High School
Supported by: Shaye Stephens and Amanda O’Leary
“Justtbeadditt is my custom bracelet company that specializes in essential oil diffuser bracelets made with natural lava beads, Jerusalem wood and glass bead bracelets along with dozens of charms and accent beads. I started Justtbeadditt less than a year ago after classmates and friends took an interest in some of the bracelets I made for myself.”
“I will use some of the money for marketing and additional advertising, such as Facebook and Instagram boosting, future show rentals, and inventory purchases for upcoming seasonal events such as sporting events and holidays etc.”
Why I chose Sophia: I was impressed by her go-getter attitude and the fact that she didn’t wait to start her business until everything was perfect. She just went for it and already has a following on social media.
Mahi Kolla, The Harker School
Supported by: Michael Acheatel
“Bikeware is an innovative solution that prevents accidents between bicycles and cars. By communicating the location of the cyclist to the driver through our app, we ensure the driver is aware of the biker before it is too late to prevent an accident.”
“I will use this money to develop the app, start reaching out customers through our multiple channels, and approach companies such as Google and Waze.”
Why I chose Mahi: She has already proven herself as an entrepreneur with The Minty Boutique, and she really did her homework. Her business plan covered every small detail. This app has potential to reach the masses.
Dylan Brandt, Saint Louis Park High School
Supported by: Jacob Utities
“I plan to create an application which works as a resource for financial management. This application will be targeted more towards young adults but is still viable for any other age group.”
“This scholarship would allow me to pay for certain software enhancements that I could use to develop my application. As well as giving me the funds to publish my application on both the Apple store and the play store which both have fees for publishing apps. I would then have money to promote advertisement on Facebook to help reach more customers.”
Why I chose Dylan: He has the skills to actually go out and create this app and business. He doesn’t need anyone else to do it for him. Plus, we all know there’s a big need for more financial literacy and tools.
A huge thank you to all the applicants. Don’t forget that you are welcome to bring back the same business plan with more work next time.
To those who didn’t win, Stukent participated in a business plan competition back in 2013. We didn’t even make the final round of the competition, but five years later, we came in at number 268 on the Inc. 500 list. Let this fuel your fire rather than put it out.