Business Plan Competition 2014

Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM PDT

The Sixteenth Annual Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition took place on May 20th.  There were over 200 in attendance.  The $10,000 Grand Prize Winner was   Wanderlust featuring undergrad students Alex Walz and Jonathan Parsay.  Wanderlust is an on-line platform for cross-cultural communications that empowers travelers to meet-up, and share insights, with locals and like-minded fellow travelers.

Receiving the $5000 Meisenbach Prize for Second Place was Skywise, led by LEMBA student James Faulknor and Richard Farnsworth.  Skywise is a Veteran owned consulting agency to address the need for efficient policy navigation by drone operators.

The Third Place Awards of $3000 went to Shadow Dog Industries, developed by undergrad students Tyler Petersheims and Cyrus Fien, and Unleash the Brilliance, presented by undergraduate students Tim O'Reilly and Amanda Waite along with Terrell Dorsey.  Shadow Dog provides portability to a musician's amplifier. It also doubles as a stage platform that enhances the sound coming from the amplifier.  Unleash the Brilliance is a not for profit organization that assists youths in creating successful ventures inside and outside of school.

All the teams made great presentations and made it very hard on the panel of judges.  From time to time some have wondered about the wisdom of allowing undergraduate students to compete with grad students, noting that grad students would seem to have an advantage.  Perhaps that is true, but three of the four finalists this year were undergraduate teams, suggesting that undergrads can hold their own!

Professor Harriet Stephenson was recognized at the awards ceremony for her many contributions to the business plan competition and entrepreneurship education over the course of her career at Seattle University.  That's why the competition is named after her!  Harriet is retiring at the end of this academic year after 47 years of service to Albers and SU!  Thank you, Harriet!