Ship students take top honors at PASSHE business
Shippensburg University students recently earned top
honors, including first place, in the third annual Pennsylvania State System of Higher
Education (PASSHE) Student Business Plan Competition. Following is the news release from the PASSHE
Chancellor’s Office announcing the awards.
students earn top spots in PASSHE Business Plan Competition
fly repellant for horses wins third annual event, new
‘cloud-based’ software management program takes second
Harrisburg – A team of three Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
students who developed and successfully began marketing an all-natural fly
repellant for use on horses won first place in the third annual Pennsylvania
State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Student Business Plan Competition.
Hill Farm Naturals, created by Dustin Lowry of Shippensburg and Daniel
Machlanski and Chris Goldy, both of Cranford, N.J., and originally from Poland,
combined focused marketing with a high level of customer service to gain
recognition in the local markets and achieve profitability in its first year of
operation. Their product is an alternative to chemical sprays, which can have a
negative impact not only on the horses on which it is used, but also on their
human owners and handlers and the environment. The spray is intended especially
for horses that are ridden for recreational purposes as well as those who
participate in equestrian competitions.
Machlanski and Goldy received a $10,000 prize to help further develop their
business plan. The first-place prize was donated by the Pennsylvania State
Employees Credit Union (PSECU), one of the event’s primary sponsors.
Kline of Mechanicsburg and Zach Britcher of Stewartstown, also students at
Shippensburg University, took second place in the competition with their
development of new recreational facility management software. “Reccelerator” is
a scalable, cloud-based management system that will support university recreation
departments and facilities with membership, equipment tracking and analytical
reporting for active members and employees. Internal data can be collected and
submitted through mobile applications for fast, convenient reporting requiring
nothing but a web browser. Further development will allow the software to be
used by club sports teams and for both intramurals and fitness classes.
Billman of Hamburg, a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, took third
place in the competition, with “Dirt-Doc,” a user-friendly search engine to
enable contractors, developers and property owners to advertise their need to
buy or sell topsoil or other earth products. Users can then negotiate their
terms for these products. Dirt-Doc also shows locations of quarries, concrete
plants, asphalt plants and landfills.
second- and third-place winners received $5,000 and $2,500 respectively, also
to be used to assist in the further development of their proposed business
ventures. The runners-up awards were donated by PNC Bank and F&M Trust.
fourth award, the Student Choice Award, was presented for the first time this
year. Based on an optional YouTube video submission in addition to the business
plan, the winner was determined based on the total number of video views on
Grosz of Greentown, a student at Shippensburg University, won the award for his
proposal, “Help Just in Time,” a personalized online tutoring service that can
provide information via email, video or live-feed tutoring. Students can
purchase the service per question, page or session, or buy a subscription.
winning entries demonstrate the incredible ingenuity and imagination of our
students,” said PASSHE Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “We can all be proud, not
just of the students selected as winners, but of every student team in the
competition for having the courage to put their dream out there for everyone to
see. I have no doubt will be hearing a lot more from all of them.”
than 140 student teams competed in this year’s competition, designed to provide
student entrepreneurs a real-world opportunity to pitch their original business
plans. Of those entries, 62 business venture profiles were completed and
reviewed. Twenty semi-finalists were then selected by PASSHE university
reviewers and forwarded to the external judging panel, which comprised Michael
Gildea, president of Brain Gain, LLC; Sara K. Walter, public relations manager
at PSECU; Chris Fitting, small business relationship manager at F&M Trust;
and Michael Pochan, entrepreneur in residence at Seton Hill University.
small business owner myself, I know the challenges you must face and overcome
to achieve success in the ‘real world.’ It’s not easy, but nothing worth
accomplishing ever is,” said Guido M. Pichini, chairman of PASSHE’s Board of
Governors, speaking to student participants during last night’s awards program.
“I would like to personally congratulate every student who took part in this
year’s competition—all 144 teams that initially submitted their business ideas
back in the fall. Every one of you is a winner simply by your willingness to
take on the challenge.”
awards were presented Monday night at the Hershey Lodge. The awards dinner was
co-sponsored by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts and JP Morgan.