Student Entrepreneurs Impress at the 8th Annual Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge

Collegiate tier winners show off their products on stage with judges and Scheinfeld Center Director Julie Samson (center). Courtesy photo.

Local student entrepreneurs dazzled both the judges and the packed SBCC Fé Bland Forum audience at the 8th Annual Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge business plan and pitch competition on Friday, April 27.

Students from Santa Barbara City College, Antioch University, and UC Santa Barbara kicked off the collegiate tier of the event, followed by the high school tier, which featured students from San Marcos and Cabrillo High Schools. The up-and-coming entrepreneurs competed for over $15,000 in cash and scholarship awards, which will be presented to the student winners at the May 4 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards dinner.

The $5,500 grand prize in the collegiate tier went to Santa Barbara City College student Jake Zander for his venture Feel Me Footsouls, a special shoe insole designed specifically for Converse shoes.

Heather Luikart, also from SBCC, took home 2nd place and $3,000 for Peregrin8 Travel, her convertible travel bag. The 3rd place prize of $2,000 went to SBCC student Adam Verhasselt for VOIID, an online service that enables artists to print and sell their limited edition artwork on clothing.

In the high school tier, Amanda Moores won 1st place honors and $1,000 for her stress reducing app, Flora. Trevor Eubank and his pitch for Hinterland, a hybrid hammock/sleeping bag, came in 2nd, and 3rd place went to Natalie Hey-Shipton for her venture myHunnybox, a subscription box service that enables families to easily send care packages to college students. All three winners in the high school tier are students at San Marcos High in the San Marcos Entrepreneurship Academy (SMEA).

“This year’s student entrepreneur finalists presented creative and feasible business concepts on par with what we’ve seen in almost a decade of Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge pitches,” said Scheinfeld Center Director Julie Samson. “We’re excited to support the winners with seed money, scholarship opportunities, and business consulting to further develop their ventures, and we encourage all of the finalists to continue pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. I’m confident our Santa Barbara community will be hearing much more from these inspiring students.”

The 8th Annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards takes place Friday, May 4 at 5:30 pm at the Hilton Santa Barbara Seaside Resort. Visit for more information.

Learn more about the Scheinfeld New Venture Challenge at

About the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation is a hub for entrepreneurial development within the South Central Coast community and is a resource for model programs for other California community college districts. The Scheinfeld Center, part of the Jack & Julie Nadel School of Business & Entrepreneurship at SBCC, trains global entrepreneurs using a comprehensive approach to academics, hands-on experience, and support. Participants can build their business in the classroom and shore up gaps in their entrepreneurial skill set through the Scheinfeld Center’s distinctive combination of coursework, business plan and pitch competitions, industry internships, no-cost business consulting, mentoring, networking, and post-start-up support through the Small Business Development Center. To learn more, visit or call 805.965.0581 ext. 3643.

About Santa Barbara City College

Founded in 1909, Santa Barbara City College currently serves approximately 15,000 students each semester who enroll in courses for transfer preparation, career education, and foundational skills. SBCC was the 2013-2015 national co-winner of the prestigious Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. The college was recognized for its quality and focus in four areas: facilitating underrepresented and minority student success, student learning outcomes, degree completion and transfer rates, and labor market success in securing good jobs after college.

Our Mission: As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student…

Santa Barbara City College provides students a diverse learning environment that inspires curiosity and discovery, promotes global responsibility and fosters opportunity for all.

All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners.

Leave a Reply