Students Compete for Venture Battle Funding

GROVE CITY, Pa. — $24,000 in prize money was up for grabs in the annual Wolverine Venture Battle business plan competition at Grove City College.

Nine teams of student entrepreneurs competed in the event coordinated by the college’s Center for Entrepreneurship+Innovation. Students researched the viability of their businesses, drew up detailed financial projects for investors and crafted their pitch. The competition took place in front of faculty, students and a group of judges comprised of Grove City College alumni and friends.

“Each year, the Wolverine Venture Battle field grows stronger. In fact, this was the first year that all of the teams received money from the investors,” said Yvonne English, E+I executive director and professor of entrepreneurship. “With these funds in hand, the teams will be able to move faster and further than they ever imagined. We are thankful for the time, treasure and talent that our investors bring to the table.”

After the pitches were made, followed by a question-and-answer period, judges determined each team’s share of the prize money based on an idea’s potential and the team’s need for investment:

  • $6,749 for Visual Patience – Grace Hovis, 2019
  • $6,501 for Santa’s App – Zach Hanson, 2022; Garrett Jacobs, 2020; Randall Labrie, 2020
  • $4,250 for H2Mark – Lindy Bowser, 2019; Caleb Miller, 2020; Robert Goodrich, 2021; Addison Hockins, 2019
  • $2,000 for Cup of Joy – Jordan Wirth, 2019; David Cheung, 2019; Matthew Schallus, 2019
  • $1,500 for Scan Shop Ship – Cameron Suorsa, 2021; Jonathan Brutt, 2018
  • $1,000 for QuikHR – Jake Murphy, 2021; Andrew Graber, 2019
  • $1,000 for Phalanx Fitness – David Corbin, 2020; Mitchell Harvey, 2020; and Daniel Carns, 2020
  • $500 for Acceptum – Mark Sotomayor, 2020; Ethan Harve, 2020; Ryan Budnik, 2019
  • $500 for Big Yarn – Aby Griffith, 2021; Heather Hondel, 2021

The first place team also received in-kind help with financial planning, legal issues and web services.

Lindy Bowser makes the case for H2Mark, a device used to measure velocity and impact for competitive swimmers.

The competition is open to all students. A record 51 teams applied and the nine finalists were selected after an earlier round of judging with 63 reviewers.

E+I’s VentureLab Showcase was held in conjunction with the Wolverine Venture Battle. It offered four teams the opportunity to compete for a $500 prize with the winner determined by audience vote. Piña Project, a social entrepreneurship jewelry business created by Elizabeth Higgins, 2021; Elizabeth Finnegan, 2021; and Stuart Rozendal 2021 took the prize.

E+I VentureLab is an early-stage business and social enterprise idea feasibility lab that provides seed grants and guidance to carefully screened teams of students who are developing new ventures based on their own original concepts.

Pictured above: Grove City College seniors Matthew Schallus, David Cheung and Jordan Wirth make a pitch for Cup of Joy, a café that seeks to reach families by intellectual disabilities.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.