Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students Amanda Arns, Sarah Lindsay, Tabitha Todd and Bryson Weaver were saluted Monday, April 7, as winners in “The Other 40” Entrepreneurship Competition. The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, an SIUE School of Business student organization, hosted the fourth annual pitch competition at the Morris University Center.
The competition gives students the opportunity to take their business ideas through all the stages necessary to become successful entrepreneurs. The objective is to provide students with the resources, skills and incentives to launch their businesses from idea to incorporation. More than $10,000 in cash and support was awarded to the top three students or student groups based on innovation, achievement and growth potential.
Winners of the 2014 “The Other 40” competition:
• $5,000 for first place: Arns, a junior business student, for Q-Stars Gymnastics
• $2,500 for second place: Lindsay and Todd, pharmacy students, for Gateway Pain Solutions LLC
• $1,000 for third place: Weaver, a double major in marketing and entrepreneurship, for Ju Ju Brewing
Arns’ Q-Stars Gymnastics concept is a facility dedicated to helping families develop healthy lifestyles. Her goal is to provide a safe and clean environment for children and adults for recreational gymnastics and adult fitness all in one place.
“The competition put into perspective what it would take to make my idea a reality,” said Arns, who is pursuing a business administration degree with a specialization in entrepreneurship. “I have wanted to pursue Q-Stars Gymnastics since high school, and the competition was the extra push I needed to bring it all together.”
• Natasha Kessler – Accelerando Music School
• Matthew Slightom, Cody Stewart and Thaddeus Nessel – College Cupholder
• Carissa Fowler – Al-Anon for All
• Christina Frisch – Flights and Fights
“The Other 40 gives students the chance to bring out their creative side,” said CEO Faculty Advisor and Associate Professor of Management Tim Schoenecker. “The prize money also leverages a student’s ability to actually pursue their business idea.”
Participants entering “The Other 40” competition utilize prep sessions to help build the skills necessary to succeed. Workshops prior to the competition provided instruction to students on developing financial projections, preparing a business plan and developing a persuasive pitch.
The students were required to participate in three phases of the competition. In phase one, they submitted a one-page executive summary outlining their business plan. Those selected based on the one-page summary then submitted a full business plan. After reviewing the plans, the finalists made a “pitch,” presenting their ideas in less than three minutes before a panel of judges.
After review of the participants’ business plans and elevator pitches, judges determined the top three contestants for the cash prizes and support packages to help pursue their business ideas.
The competition is supported by a $120,000 grant to the School of Business for entrepreneurship education from John, ’75, and Eileen Martinson of Lawrenceville, N.J., through The Martinson Family Foundation.
“The Other 40” was created in 2011 by students and continues to provide students with an opportunity to present their business idea in front of faculty, as well as, three non-faculty with reputable backgrounds.