(From left to right): Julie Henley, judge; Kathy Odell, judge; Silvia Franco, 2nd Place Collegiate Tier; Thomas Lundgard, 1st Place, Collegiate Tier; Julie Samson, Scheinfeld Center Director; Piper Lovegreen, 3rd Place Collegiate Tier; Cathy Feldman, Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation CEO; Scott Hamilton, judge
Santa Barbara, Calif., May 9, 2017 – Apparel companies dominated the winning teams this year at the April 28th SBCC Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 7th Annual New Venture Challenge business pitch competition, held in the Fe Bland Forum on SBCC’s campus. Three of the six college and high school tier winners pitched apparel-related businesses in the exciting live competition between ten finalist teams from each tier.
“We were thrilled with the determination, creativity and hard work of all the students who participated in this year’s New Venture Challenge,” said Julie Samson, Scheinfeld Center Director. “We are proud of the opportunities we are able to offer to the community, and excited to follow the winners on their paths to success as so many of our past participants are experiencing.”
The $5,500 collegiate grand prize went to SBCC student Thomas Lundgard for Meraki Surf, a line of surf-themed underwear which Lundgard says is more comfortable, affordable, and stylish than options currently available.
The second-place collegiate award of $3,000 went to SBCC student Silvia Franco-Comer for Casa de Comer Salsa and the third-place award of $2,000 went to SBCC student Piper Lovegreen for Piper Swimwear.
San Marcos High School students swept the high school level, with the first-place prize of $1,000 awarded to Elizabeth Kravchuk for Tune In, an app that allows the user to call an interpreter to translate a conversation among people speaking different languages. She highlighted how it could be especially useful in emergency situations.
Second-place went to Kaela Cleary for EcoFresh, a car scent that prevents drowsiness, and third-place went to the team of Lauren Worthey, Zoe Drum, and Jenna Warner for Revive, a business that upcycles used clothing.
The Scheinfeld Center New Venture Challenge is a two-tiered pitch competition honoring the business concepts of local college and high school students. The $15,000 in total cash awards for the collegiate winners is made possible by Montecito Bank & Trust, the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, and Southern California Edison.
“We are grateful for the support from our award funders as well as from those who volunteered their time to judge,” said Samson. “We are lucky to live in a community that encourages our local students to pursue their goals.”
The winners received their awards at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards banquet on May 5 at The Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore. All finalists were invited to participate in the Student Showcase from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. The awards banquet serves as a fundraiser for next year’s awards, and the attendance of the student winners and their guests are generously sponsored by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation.
The funds are awarded as a grant with reporting requirements. Each winner receives no-cost business counseling and mentorship from the Small Business Development Center and reports back periodically on their use of the funds and their entrepreneurial and academic endeavors.
For more information please visit the Scheinfeld Center website at http://scheinfeld.sbcc.edu.
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 serves as an entrepreneurship program model for other California community colleges. The Scheinfeld Center develops global entrepreneurs using a comprehensive approach to academics, hands-on experience, and support. Participants build their business in the classroom and shore up gaps in their entrepreneurial skillset 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 www.scheinfeld.sbcc.edu or call 805.965.0581 ext. 3643.