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Entrepreneurial Students to Compete in Westmont Business Plan Competition

Four final venture teams will face off at the 23rd annual Collegiate Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 in Westmont College’s Founders Room.

The competition is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and networking will begin at 4:45 p.m.

Thirty-four students in Westmont’s Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development class formed 10 venture teams, and a separate screening panel, which included David Newton, professor of entrepreneurship, selected the final four.

In August, the students began looking at the market, searching for gaps before creating a feasibility study. The final four ventures are: Earthos Corp., an online, interactive marketplace for service-ministry and other nonprofit organizations to sell products direct to like-minded conscientious consumers (Dave Gaultiere, Aaron Bailey, Nick Cruz); INtertainment LLC, arranging advertising agreements for emerging product companies in video games, film and music videos (Dallas LaPrelle, Colby Dundas, Spencer Cripe); LEEF by S.K.S. Technologies, providing immediate, reliable, digital back-up and storage of photos (Ryan Stalker, Taylor Skidmore, Filipp Kozachuk); and, a one-stop planning/booking resource for camping trips and equipment (Davis Darnall, Sterling Montes, Tyler Nordlund, Henry Prevette).

The judges include Susan Block, investment banker at Block-Bowman & Associates; Peter Dealy, president of West End Partners; Eli Eisenberg, founder and CEO of Straight Line Management; Barry Fay, president of McConnell’s Ice Cream and owner of Montecito Growth Advisors; and Jason Spievak, CEO of RingRevenue and former CFO of Callwave.

Since 1990, more than 70 former students of Newton’s have launched and managed their own ventures, and 28 venture teams have gone on to compete in national venture forums.

“The students learn the importance of teamwork while managing their time and meeting deadlines on multiple tasks and projects,” Newton said. “They oversee an entirely self-directed endeavor from conception of the idea through their formal presentation.”

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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