Rowan students vie for $10,000 in business plan competition


Five start-up firms led by students from the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University will compete for a top prize of $5,000 in the school's second annual business plan competition.

Five start-up firms led by students from the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University will compete for a top prize of $5,000 in the school's second annual business plan competition.

Twenty-six teams started in the competition in November 2007, going through two elimination rounds in which they were judged on their feasibility study and full business plan, for which they submitted 30-page comprehensive documents.

The Rohrer College of Business tapped close to three dozen professionals from on and off campus to evaluate the various phases, including bankers, attorneys, engineers, business owners and community development leaders. Judges for the final round will include Dale Bolger, Alliance Information Strategies; Keith Campbell, Mannington Mills; Fred Graziano, Commerce Bank; and Allison Rulon-Miller, an independent consultant. The five teams that have made it to the final round will compete for a $5,000 first prize, $2,500 second prize, $1,000 third prize and $500 prize for honorable mention on Saturday, April 5 at 9:30 a.m. in the ballroom of Rowan's Student Center or Rt. 322, Glassboro. At that time, they will give a 15-minute presentation (including Q&A) on their business to the judges.

Each team must include a Rowan student or alumnus and may include others students and non-students as well. They are:

  • Carbon Neutral Now will sell carbon offsets to individuals, corporations and organizations. Proceeds from the sales will be used to purchase energy-saving products (such as solar panels and compact fluorescent lights) that will be donated to working poor and senior citizens in need. The Rowan student is Bernard (Guy) Pridy, Jr., of Mantua Township, a history/education major. Team members are Tara Pridy, David Negron and Sara Christie.

  • Green Go Between proposes to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of its parent company based in Philadelphia, Pa., offering green meeting solutions to both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. GGB will provide environmentally friendly event planning and management services. The Rowan student is Lindsay Groff, an MBA student from Washington Township. The other team member is Sarah Hagy.

  • Lingualistic is producing a board game that will be used to teach or reinforce foreign language skills. The game focuses on both word pronunciation and recall and will be available in several different languages, starting with Spanish. The Rowan students are entrepreneurship majors Justine Nguyen, of Egg Harbor Township, and Daniel Ballard, of Egg Harbor Township.

  • On the Ball delivers personal training and nutritional services in an unprecedented way to its clients, focusing on custom-tailored lifestyle programs. Lauren Wade Benyola, of Tinton Falls, is simultaneously earning two bachelor's degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship at Rowan University.

  • Pinnacle Health & Performance, based in Turnersville, is a personal training studio that offers both customized workout programs and health and wellness plans. Pinnacle, which opened for business in August 2007, offers "open training," a combination of services normally provided by either commercial gyms or private training facilities. Pinnacle intends to continue to hire Rowan students as both employees and interns. The primary Rowan student in the competition is Washington Township resident Phillip Pirollo, a heath and exercise science major. Other team members are Drew McGinn and Joe Cristella, of Pitman, also a Rowan health and exercise science major.