SNHU and MYPN Team Up to Offer Business Plan Competition

Monday, December 29, 2008
SNHU Communications Office

For Immediate Release
                                                                                          
Kate Benway
603.624.6505

Business Plan Competition Participants Selected;
20 Chosen out of Nearly 100 Applicants

The Manchester Young Professionals Network and Southern New Hampshire University will kick off a 10-week entrepreneurial course beginning January 24

Manchester (Dec. 29, 2008) – The New Hampshire Start-Up Challenge, the collaborative business plan competition and entrepreneurial program of The Manchester Young Professionals Network will kick off with Southern New Hampshire University a 10-week entrepreneurial boot camp. Twenty participants who will compete for two grand prizes.

The challenge was open to New Hampshire residents. After a blind judging process, 20 applicants from nearly 100 submissions were accepted into Southern New Hampshire University’s Entrepreneurial Institute. The participants, along with their proposed business name, include:

Andrew Kamensky  (SMART)
Brian Bienvenue  (Organic Pizza Place)
Christina Campbell  (Forever Green)
David Koble  (Community Habitat)
Diana Holland, Joelle Sarette and Lucretia Joy (Say It Write: a service of Outstanding Marketing Solutions)
Gary W. Hunter (Street School)
Grace Jenkins and Judy Jenkins (Patches of Wisdom)Ian Muir  (Tincanio)
Jennifer Cheifetz  (Sugar Mommy)
Kathryn Saylor and Roclyn Porter (Turning Leaf Psychological Personnel)
Kathy Berger  (HuePhoria)
Kelley Muir  (Float Left Labs)
Kristi Barry  (Project PEP)
Lovemore Liberty Dhliwayo (Win-Win Transnational Corporation Ltd.)
Michael J. Turcotte  (Turn Cycle Consulting)
Nicholas Coates and Mark Richardson (Orbial Energy Systems)
Penny Savage James Ramanek, Michelle Lauer  (TACSA)
Peter T. Lampesis  Jr. (Alternative Fuels and Technologies)
Stephanie Payeur  (Lab Tests Direct)Suzanne Brown  (Granite Spirit Farms and Forests)

“We’re thrilled with the response and very much looking forward to kicking off the educational component of the program,” said Joe Kenney, MYPN’s chair of the NH Start-Up Challenge and vice president of commercial lending at Ocean Bank. “We have an impressive group of inventive and inspiring people who want to become entrepreneurs. Each of them will have access to a high quality program at the Entrepreneurial Institute that will no doubt prepare them for their endeavor.”

The two business plan competition winners – one for a for-profit business plan, the other for a social innovation or socially responsible business plan – will each receive $25,000 and a package of in-kind start-up services, including office space, marketing assistance, legal services and accounting services.

“The two winners will receive an impressive prize package that will directly lead to the creation of two businesses in New Hampshire,” said Kenney. “Alongside our winners will be 18 individuals who will likely be poised to venture out on their own as well. We’re very optimistic about the ability of this program to lead directly to business creation.”

Participants will receive training on a variety of topics, including finance, identifying and analyzing the market, building an organization and team and planning for a profitable business.  The mini-boot camp will follow the New Venture FastTrac Course by the Kauffman Foundation, the leading entrepreneurship foundation.

Local business owner Bernie Sparks will facilitate the program and SNHU business professor Keith Moon will serve as a coach and mentor. Other SNHU faculty, along with business leaders and executives, will participate in the program sharing both theory and application for successfully starting and running a company.

The Entrepreneurial Institute will be completed March 28, and by April 25, members of the inaugural class will be required to submit their comprehensive business plans for final judging. The challenge's advisory board will choose two winners in early May. Winners will be presented with their prizes during a celebration dinner later that month.

Advisory board members include: Paul LeBlanc, president, Southern New Hampshire University; Danny O’Brien, president, Ocean Bank; Pat McDermott, economic & community development manager, Public Service of NH; Joe McQuaid, president, Union Leader; Doug Dean, president, Elliot Hospital; Joe DiBrigida, shareholder, Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green; Travis York, president, Griffin, York & Krause; Donna K. Lencki, principal, Geneia; Ryan FitzSimons, CEO, Gigunda Group, Inc.; and Kate Benway, marketing manager, City of Manchester.

The Manchester Young Professionals Network was created in 2004 and now has over 3,000 members. Please visit MYPN at http://www.mypn.org/ for more information.

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