Competition proves student business plans are on the way to success

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Five student finalist teams competed in the final round of the Business Plan Competition held by the Rowan University Rohrer College of Business on Saturday, April 18, and fall 2008 entrepreneurship graduate Jeremy Smith of Clayton came out on top.

Five student finalist teams competed in the final round of the Business Plan Competition held by the Rowan University Rohrer College of Business on Saturday, April 18, and fall 2008 entrepreneurship graduate Jeremy Smith of Clayton came out on top.

A panel of business professionals judged the finalists' feasibility studies, written plans and oral presentations.

Smith's presentation, Culinary Catastrophes, consisted of his product called Shellfish Bastard Crab Cake Sauce.  The gourmet sauce, intended for retail and commercial sale, provides a convenient base for preparing crab cakes. Smith received the top prize of $5,000 to aid his business idea.

"I was shocked and really excited," said Smith, 26.  "I was glad.  I can put this [prize] to good use and use skills from the competition to help my business."

His inspiration for the crab cake sauce came from his experience working at 12 different restaurants.  Smith is currently producing his sauce at Rutgers University Food Innovation and Research Extension Center (FIRE) in Bridgeton.

Smith is working to expand his business and is appreciative of the help from Rowan.

"I knew I always wanted to have my own business," said Smith.  "[This competition] is a really good opportunity for students to get a head start on their businesses."

Second place and $2,500 were awarded to George Sampson, a junior finance major from Winslow.  His business idea is called OZone, a sustainable organic bar that serves cocktails made with freshly juiced fresh fruit and organic spirits, organic beer, wine and food items in an environmentally conscious setting.

Ruth Mesfun, a junior economics major from West Orange, and Nuria Moreno, a senior marketing major El Salvador were awarded third place and $1,000 for their business plan. Surviving Successfully is an online store specializing in providing products for face, body and hair care use to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

Two honorable mentions and $500 prizes were also given.

Spring 2008 environmental studies graduate Christopher Shaw of Oak Ridge presented a plan called Home Efficiency, which created the Spring Post Mailbox.  The mailbox provides the consumer with a mailbox post that will never break, lean in any direction, or be pulled out of the ground.

Steven Calvaruso, a junior entrepreneurship major from Hopelawn, and Robert Kesling, a senior entrepreneurship major form Marlton, presented a plan for Tween Lock, a door knob cover that locks onto a round doorknob to prevent siblings from invading each other's personal space.

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