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Macomb Community College students pitch top business ideas in third annual Student Pitch Contest

– Monday, April 3, 2017 9:00AM

Five budding entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas in search of cash prizes during the Macomb Community College Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s third annual Student Pitch Contest. The top three winners were awarded a total of $6,000 to invest in to their new business concept.

The five finalists were selected from an original field of 41 Macomb students.  All competitors received training on the best ways to pitch their business during the competition and to potential future investors.  The finalists were judged on a number of factors, including the competitiveness of their business idea, financial plans, marketing strategies and identification of their potential market. The finalists were also graded on their professionalism during the presentation.

Jennifer GeorgievskiFirst place and a $3,000 award went to Jennifer Georgievski, 31, Clinton Township, a business management student at Macomb, for her business concept, Round the US, which manufactures sentimental mementos using spent military cartridges. The brass cartridges are flattened and engraved with personal messages to honor veterans and those in active duty. Georgievski has committed to donating 25 percent of her net profits to local veteran and active military support organizations.

“I started my business on the anniversary of the passing of a dear friend who died during Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Georgievski. “I feel my product helps people remember those that have fallen, celebrate those who continue to serve and honor those veterans who have given so much. I know building this business will be an uphill battle but the cause is definitely worthwhile.”

Second place and a $2,000 award went to Jennine Nelson, 40, Grosse Pointe, whose business concept, Precisely Polka-Dots, involves the design and manufacture of aromatherapy jewelry. The jewelry allows wearers to carry their favorite calming or energizing scent with them wherever they go. Nelson is an accounting student at Macomb.

Mitch Kusza, 30, Sterling Heights, a business management student at Macomb, took third place and the $1,000 prize with his business plan Vege-Fuse. The Vege-Fuse allows customers to infuse the flavor and essence of vegetables into their favorite recipes without the vegetables themselves remaining in the final dish. Kusza said his product is perfect for families with picky children who may not like the texture of a specific vegetable but still need the vitamins and nutrients in their meals.

The competitors had five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of four judges. The judges were then given three minutes to ask follow-up questions, highlighting any specific concerns about the concept.

Three of the judges for the competition were entrepreneurs who have won awards from the Macomb Innovation Fund:

  • Sandy Aldrich, COO and co-founder of Stridepost, a company that has developed an online family organizer and motivational tool designed to help teach children responsibility and accountability.
  • Kevin Hagedorn, PhD, founder and CEO of Life Magnetics, Inc., which has developed a new material for separating RNA from DNA, cutting the cost of RNA analysis.
  • Ashlee Trempus, co-founder and CEO of SignOn, a virtual immersion program that provides American Sign Language students with easily-accessible online tools to practice one-on-one with deaf individuals.

They were joined by:

  • Wendy Richardson, a business consultant with the Michigan Small Business Development Center who is an experienced business professional with expertise in market research and assisting startups.

Macomb’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) is a one-stop resource for both students and community members for entrepreneurship education and training, mentorship for startups and existing small business, and access to capital. The CIE sponsors the Student Pitch Contest annually to encourage students interested in entrepreneurship.

For more information about Macomb’s CIE, call 586.226.4833 or go to www.macomb.edu/business/CIE/

About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 40,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271, patricks28@macomb.edu