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Public Relations Department Assistant
Glenville State College
Glenville, West Virginia
Glenville, WV— Three Glenville State College students have advanced to the finals in the 2008 Statewide Student Business Plan
Competition sponsored by the West Virginia University Entrepreneurship Center. The competition started with 66 entries that were cut to just 20 for the semi-finals held November 9th in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Five fnalists in each category, Lifestyle, and Innovation, were chosen to move on after judging of the semi-final round.
J-B Adventures, the business plan of GSC sophomore Joshua Meadows, son of Helen and Neil Meadows of Charleston, and GSC junior Bryan Bush, son of Tonya and Daniel Bush, of Roane County will now compete for the $10,000 first prize in the Lifestyle category. Their plan is for a Rock Climbing gym, Extreme Sports Equipment store, and Guided Rock Climbing and Kayaking excursions. “I was online when my phone rang and I was told that we were going to the finals, I was so excited I dropped the phone and ran around the room screaming,” said Meadows.
The team felt that the semi-final round was not as hard as they anticipated in part because they were so well prepared. Meadows and Bush credit their GSC professors, Cheryl McKinney and Cinda Echard, with giving them great support and helping them be prepared for the competition. “Professor McKinney has been like a mother to us through this whole process,” said Meadows.
The task becomes harder now for the team as they prepare for the finals. “The toughest part for us will be finding a suitable location for us to build our Rock Climbing Gym,” commented Bryan Bush.
GSC sophomore Lance Hitt, son of Jeff and Bev Hitt of Parkersburg, West Virginia, has advanced to the final in the Innovation category of the competition and is also eligible for the top prize of $10,000. Hitt’s business plan is for Gas Pass, a unique idea to prevent customers from driving off without paying at gas stations. “I was overwhelmed when I learned that I made the finals. I have already met several business contacts who are interested in helping me implement my idea even if I don’t win the $10,000. The networking in the business community that we will experience in the next few months will give us a great chance to be successful,” said Hitt.
Both teams are confident that they have as good a chance to win the competition as any other of the finalists. In fact, both teams could win because they are in different categories. “It would be great if one of us won, but if the two winning business plans were both from Glenville State College, that would be awesome. It would show everyone just how good the business program is here at GSC,” said Bush.
“What an exciting time for these students and our entire Glenville State College campus. These three students have demonstrated that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at GSC, and our students can compete and succeed with the brightest students in the state,” said Cinda Echard, Associate Professor of Business at Glenville State College. Of the ten finalist Student Business Plans, two are from Glenville State College, one is from Concord University, one is from Marshall University, and six are from West Virginia University.
The ten finalists now enter a rigorous process of completing a formal business plan. They will be attending a weekend workshop with financial, legal, marketing, and communication professionals. A stipend of $1,000 will be given to each team following the workshop to assist with development expenses. Each team will also be assigned a business coach as a mentor. All finalists are also eligible for a free three-credit hour entrepreneurship course from WVU.
The finals of the 2008 Statewide Student Business Plan Competition will take place on April 12th, 2008, on the campus of West Virginia University, when each team will present their final plan to a panel of judges who will then select the two teams that will be awarded $10,000 each to help start their business venture.
To learn more about the 2008 Statewide Student Business Plan Competition go online at www.be.wvu.edu, or contact GSC Professor Cinda Echard at (3040 462-7361 ext. 7257