CBU student entrepreneurs pitch their start-ups at inaugural competition
Team Deaf Made, (from left) Graham Allgood, Caleb Randolph, Jared Baumer and Paul Olson, win the Bob Goodrich Business Plan Competition on April 19 along with $4,000.
Riverside, Calif. (April 24, 2017) –Aspiring student entrepreneurs at California Baptist University participated in the inaugural Bob Goodrich Business Plan Competition that awarded a combined $10,000 for the top business models presented.
Team Deaf Made claimed the first prize and $4,000 on April 19 for the competition that was sponsored by the Dr. Robert K. Jabs School of Business. Deaf Made is a proposed company that would partner with international deaf artisans to sell their products in the U.S.
Caleb Randolph, a business administration senior and part of the team, said his passion for the deaf community comes from personal experiences. Randolph’s father is deaf, and he witnessed some of his dad’s struggles. Additionally, Randolph said he has also interacted with the deaf community on mission trips and noticed how the deaf community could be marginalized.
“I learned this is what I actually want to do with my life,” Randolph said. “I think [working to give] people the opportunity to raise themselves out of poverty is some of the most fulfilling work you can do.”
The competition began earlier in the semester when a dozen teams submitted business plans and were judged in areas such as market opportunity, financial understanding and investment potential. From those 12 teams, four finalists were selected. Each of the final four teams made a 5-minute presentation to a panel of judges. The teams also responded to questions about patents, wages, tariffs and start-up costs.
The judges for the competition were CBU alumni: James Cypert (’12, ’14), CEO of Simulation and Education Technology Trainers; David Walker (’85), strategic consultant; and Paul Burke (’05), CFO consultant.
The remaining finalists included team RHEO, which proposed to create a bottle drink cap that is filled with concentrating liquid flavorings. RHEO won second place and $3,000. Team Rush, a proposed campus service that delivers beverages and snacks to students and faculty, won third and $2,000 in cash; and team MakeScents, which proposed a fashionable rubber band bracelet that contains a dispenser than can extract essential oils, took fourth place and $1,000.
Walker said he was impressed with the presentations and the details that went into the plans.
“Trying to get a tough, complex concept across in a 5-minute presentation is not easy, and each team did a magnificent job,” Walker said.
The competition, which was open to all CBU students, was intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurship, said Natalie Winter, associate professor marketing.
“It gives [students] an opportunity to think about how to bring an idea to life, to learn the entrepreneurial process, to get practice pitching in front of potential investors and for them to think through the logistics,” Winter said.