FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2013
For more information:
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College
Glenville, WV— When the 7th annual West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition finals took place at the West Virginia University Alumni Center in Morgantown on Friday and Saturday, April 5th and 6th, two teams of Glenville State College students were competing for the top prize of $10,000.
The field of competing business plans had been narrowed to ten finalists, five in the Life Styles & Innovation category and five in the Hospitality & Tourism category, from a record number of one-hundred and forty-one business plans from eleven colleges and universities from around the state.
GSC seniors Racheal Fetty and Caleb Greathouse were finalists in the Life Styles & Innovation category for their business plan for ‘EZ Reader,’ an election ballot reader that allows for a quicker and simpler method of reviewing election ballots, which helps to ensure that votes are counted easily and correctly.
After the five finalists in the category had completed their presentations, the judges were having difficulties deciding between ‘EZ Reader’ and Randi Dove Farms an equestrian training tool. The product is rubber banding for equestrian riders to help keep their feet in the stirrups while correcting improper foot placement.
In the end, the $10,000 prize was awarded to Randi Dove Farms. However, for the first time in the history of the business plan competition, a surprise offer of a $10,000 investment was made to a second finalist.
INNOVA Commercialization Group, the private equity investment arm of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation in Fairmont, made the $10,000 investment offer to Fetty and Greathouse for their EZ Reader.
“It’s a really cool feeling to know a successful business believes in your idea enough to step up and offer their own money to support your business. After finals, INNOVA mentioned reading our business plan for the first time (before semi-finals), they stated they quickly saw the potential we had and had hoped they would be able to help our business out…winner or not,” stated Greathouse.
The investment agreement is contingent upon the company completing due diligence requirements and the acceptance of the offer by the students. Fetty and Greathouse have not yet decided if they will take advantage of the investment opportunity.
Fetty is an Accounting and Business Management major and Greathouse is an Accounting and Computer Information Systems major. The couple is from Spencer (Roane County), West Virginia.
Greathouse is the son of Bob and Sue Greathouse of Spencer. Fetty is the daughter of Barbie Fetty and Steve Fetty of Spencer.
“I think we won something greater than a $10,000 investment from the competition. We were able to get real experience in professional poise and presentation that was invaluable. We went from shaking during a two minute presentation at semi-finals to giving a twenty minute presentation in front of a room full of esteemed business professionals with confidence. We spent so much time on our business plan and presentation to create something we were really proud of,” said Fetty.
The team of GSC seniors Josh Ramsey and Preston Veal were finalists in the Hospitality & Tourism Category for their business plan for ‘Delivery 2U’ a simple delivery service that will focus on providing delivery service for restaurants in the Glenville area. Although ‘Delivery 2U’ did not win the $10,000 prize, the entrepreneurs have already filed for a business license and hope to begin operations soon. Ramsey is majoring in Resort Area Management, Business Management, and Computer Information Systems. He is from Gassaway (Braxton County), West Virginia but now lives in Glenville (Gilmer County), West Virginia. Veal is majoring in Business Management, Resort Area Management, Sport Management, and has a minor in Non-Profit Leadership. He is from Weirton (Hancock County), West Virginia. Veal is the son of Ronald and Deborah Veal of Weirton. Ramsey is the son of Michelle Goodrich of Glenville and James Ramsey of Frametown (Braxton County), West Virginia.
“Congratulations and many thanks to Racheal and Caleb for bringing this honor to Glenville State College. We are excited for them as they have a very bright future as entrepreneurs. They are both excellent students and reflect what we all hold close – the West Virginia spirit! We are very proud of both our teams, EZ Reader and Delivery 2U, they represented Glenville State College very positively. They competed against the best collegiate teams in the entire state,” said GSC Associate Professor of Business Cinda Echard.
The two GSC teams became the 7th and 8th GSC student business plans to be selected as a WVSCBPC finalist .
The WVSCBPC is hosted by West Virginia University’s Entrepreneurship Center in the College of Business and Economics. The competition affords college students around the state the unique opportunity to make a business idea come to life with the support of state institutions of higher education and seasoned business professionals from around the country.
“The business professionals that comprised our panel of judges were impressed by the comprehensive plans put together by these two teams,” said Steve Cutright, director of the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The statewide competition is hosted by the BrickStreet Center, which operates within the WVU College of Business and Economics.
“I believe the business plans we have seen in this competition can become real West Virginia businesses,” said Kristina Oliver, state director of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and a judge in the business plan competition. “That’s what this competition is all about. With all of these collaborative efforts, we are creating a pipeline of entrepreneurs that will, in fact, contribute to successful economic development for West Virginia.”
For more information on the West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition, go to www.be.wvu.edu/bpc.