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The Lookout | September 22, 2018

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Student entrepreneurs succeed at ‘Star Tank’

Student entrepreneurs succeed at ‘Star Tank’

Shelby Schueller
News Editor

Six student entrepreneurs competed against one another to present eye-catching ideas to a panel of judges at “Star Tank,” April 1 in the LCC West Campus Auditorium.

Each presentation involved a new business or business idea and was five minutes long.

The event was hosted by LCC’s American Marketing Association (AMA) and was funded by the LCC Foundation.

“’Star Tank’ is an opportunity for students to pitch the ideas they have and feel like they have a voice for their plans for the future,” said Justus Smith. “It shows that people in the community and at LCC supports that.”

Smith is an LCC student and a member of the LCC AMA. He was highly involved in the promotional aspects for “Star Tank,” including visiting business classes to recruit students and creating fliers.

In addition to the possibility of winning cash, Smith said this event helps contestants gain practice creating a business pitch and to be judged in a constructive environment from people in the field.

After each presentation, the contestants had to answer questions about their business to the judges.

About 40 people attended the event, including LCC business students, community members and four panelists.

Panelists were business professionals who had succeeded in their field. They offered advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs after their presentations.

According to Bill Motz, LCC AMA adviser, the only requirement was that contestants be current LCC students.

This year’s first-place winner was Megan Collins, who had the idea to sell a “Make Your Own Mermaid” kit on etsy.com. Collins won $1,000.

Bryan Smith came in second and won $500 with his idea for a non-profit organization called the “Monarch Program,” designed to help transition prisoners back to community life.

Third place was tied between Farai Machamire and Hugh Haines. Each won $400.

Machamire had the idea to create an app called “Starlive” in which college students can come together to sell textbooks and rate professors and classes.

Haines’ goal is to open a pub restaurant that serves gluten-free food and beer options.

Other business pitches included installing solar panels in the Middle East to give villagers electricity and reselling car parts online. Each contestant walked away with a cash prize.

Motz said contestants were not only evaluated on the business pitch itself, but also the quality of the presentation, the way they delivered the presentation and how much research they did to provide a solid foundation for the business.

“It’s a challenging task,” Motz said. “You’ve got to use your oral presentation skills, you’ve got to use your PowerPoint presentation — it’s a package type of thing, but that’s what they’ve got to do in the real world so this is kind of good practice.”

For more information, contact Motz at 517-483-1540 or email him at motzw@lcc.edu.

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