Six Northern Michigan University Students presented plans for new businesses in front of business professionals at the university’s annual New Business Venture Competition.
Businesses ranged from customizable cat toys, a non–profit that recycles fabric to make headbands and a low–cost, healthy restaurant.
Each student have a 20 minute presentation where they explained their business plan, costs of operation and manufacturing, marketing strategies to make their business successful.
They then heard questions, critiques and suggestions from a panel of six judges. The judges all had a history of working in the Upper Peninsula, and were able to give insight and advice to the young entrepreneurs.
One goal of the competition is to help students get ready for the real business world, and to learn how to network with other business professionals.
Before the business plan presentations, each student had a trade fair presentation where they show off prototypes of their ideas.
Tony Plemmons won $4,000 for first place. His business plan, The Protein Palace, is a low-cost, healthy restaurant built by exercise facilities. Plemmons also won ‘Best Trade Fair Display’ and ‘Best Elevator Pitch’, in which he was also given $500 for each award.
Second place ($2,500) was awarded to Lauren Lund for her business plan called Warm Fuzzies for NECO. Warm Fuzzies is non-profit that supports the Nepal Orphanage Children’s Home. The business will recycle old flannels, sweaters and fleece to create personalized headbands.
Fossil Woodworks Company took third place ($1,500), from a business plan created by Sage Henning. It is a custom woodworking company that specializes in manufacturing tables from trees on Drummond Island.