|Clarion University named winners of its first BizPitch Competition (front row, from left): Tatem Mielewski and Taylor Mayhan, second place; Andrew Frederick, first place, and Sammie Schlak, third place and Fan Favorite. In the back row are (from left): Madi Hill, event chairperson, and judges Jill Foys, Ed Bauer, Dennyse Mehta, Logan Chernicky and Cindy Nellis.|
Andrew Frederick, a senior majoring in management from Franklin, won the top prize with his business, AFC Signals!, in the first Clarion University BizPitch Competition, held Nov. 15 at Suites on Main North Movie Theater. Frederick’s company provides hand-crafted, flush-mount turn signals for European motorcycles. Andrew plans to use the money to enhance his operations and expand his business.
The Clarion University BizPitch Competition is an exciting, educational experience that challenges students' creativity and business skills. Students enter solo or in teams of no more than four and present their five-minute pitch to a panel of judges. BizPitch is open to part-time and full-time students enrolled in the fall semester at Clarion University. Sponsors of the event were Farmers National Bank, S & T Bank and Chartwells.
The competition awarded $3,250 to four students for their business pitches. Prizes were $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place, and a fan favorite award of $250. Eleven students competed for the final round and a chance to win cash prizes. Students from all majors were encouraged to participate.
Taylor Mahan of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Tatem Mielewski of Panama, N.Y., junior accounting and human resources majors, won second place and $1,000 for introducing TNT Silicon, LLC, to the judges, a company that is looking to manufacture and install solar awnings.
Samantha Schlak, a junior accounting and finance major from Fairfield, won third place and fan favorite for a total of $750, with her Sassy Girl business. Sassy Girl is a company that plans to set up to help women organize, set priorities and goals, and become empowered.
Students were assisted by the Clarion University Small Business Development Center in conjunction with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center. The SBDC and ELC assist entrepreneurs and business owners by helping them develop the planning, management and financial skills necessary to make their business thrive. The one-on-one management consulting emphasizes education and guidance in finding practical solutions to business problems.
Consulting is confidential and provided at no charge by a staff of skilled professionals. Areas of consulting include, but are not limited to: management and marketing assistance, business planning, loan packaging, financial analysis, procurement, and environmental management. Funding for the Small Business Development Center is provided by Clarion University of Pennsylvania, the Small Business Administration and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, enabling the SBDC to provide its services at no cost.
The second annual Clarion University BizPitch will take place in November 2019, with registration opening at the beginning of September 2019. Students are encouraged to continue interactions with the Small Business Development Center and Entrepreneurial Leadership Center to develop and refine their innovative ideas and business plans.