FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2015
For More Information:
Glenville State College
Public Relations Department
GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State College freshman Rachel Brown, a Pre-Nursing major from Summersville, West Virginia has landed a spot in the West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition (WVCBPC) finals. Brown and her teammate, Andrew Hamilton, have developed what they call a personal safety application for smartphones.
The app, called SAFEverywhere, can be activated easily during an emergency and quickly notifies first responders and a preselected contact list about the crisis. It continuously streams information to the contacts until turned off.
“Andrew and I are truly excited to compete in the finals. We believe that we have a great business proposal and hope to come back with $10,000 to start SAFEverywhere!” said Brown.
The duo has spent of lot of time since the preliminary and semi-final competitions researching and networking. David Ramsburg with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and WVU LaunchLab was appointed as their business coach. Additionally, they are working closely with GSC Department of Business Associate Professors Cinda Echard and Cheryl McKinney. Echard and McKinney have been the campus liaisons for the WVCBPC since its inception in 2008.
This year marks just the second time that a GSC student has teamed in the competition with a student from another college. Hamilton, who is Brown’s cousin, is a geology major at West Virginia University.
“For many college freshmen, hitting the books and finding the best place for pizza is a top priority; however, for Rachel an additional priority was spreading her entrepreneurship wings. This is the first time that a pre-nursing major at GSC has entered the competition and we are so proud that she is now on her way as one of five finalists in her category. Rachel has demonstrated creativity and passion, both characteristics that make a great entrepreneur,” said Echard.
Now that the competition is entering its final phase, Brown and Hamilton will attend a weekend workshop at West Virginia University in Morgantown with the other finalists in February. In the meantime, they will work toward completing their actual business plan which is due in late March. To assist with the process, the teams receive a $1,000 stipend. Finalists also have access to a free online course, Entrepreneurship 489, designed to provide relevant material to the teams. Upon completion of the competition, students earn three college credit hours from the course.
In addition to the Lifestyle & Innovation category that SAFEverywhere falls into, there are two others, Hospitality & Tourism and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The categories all have up to five teams or individuals competing for three separate $10,000 grand prizes.
The final round of the annual competition will be held on April 10th at WVU. The teams will have 15 minutes to present their plans and prototypes to the panel of professional judges. A ten-minute question and answer session will follow. After all the presentations are made there will be a dinner, a reception, and awards ceremony.
For more information about the competition, contact Echard at Cinda.Echard@glenville.edu or (304) 462-6257.