Five students earned cash awards as winners of Penn State Altoona’s Pechter Business Plan Competition, held April 26, during the Gown Meets Town Student Showcase event at the Devorris Downtown Center in Altoona.
Based on the quality of the business plans and presentations, the judges presented two first-place awards. The winning teams Jimmy Coonan and John Radan of J&J Transitions, and Brittany Gill and Kristina Snyder of Majestic Grounds. Each team received $5,000. The third-place winner of $1,000 was Cody Stitt of Earthrealm Paintball. The awards will be used as seed money for students to start their businesses. Students also receive in-kind awards of legal and accounting services from attorney Jeff Fleming, attorney J. Benjamin Yeager and Rex Kaup, certified public accountant.
The Business Plan competition was established by Penn State Altoona benefactor Shirley Pechter. The 2013 awards were made possible through the generosity of Tom and Nikki Lucas, and Steve and Nancy Sheetz.
The competition consisted of a four-phase process for students to take ideas from concept through a feasibility study/market analysis to a full business plan. The students worked on their plans in the business incubator at the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, creating detailed descriptions of their business concepts, potential market and likely competitors. Local business leaders Steve Sheetz, Colleen Devorris, Al Masood and Ryan Sheetz judged the competition, basing their evaluations on the feasibility of the proposed businesses, the business overviews and presentations. Pechter and Steve Sheetz presented the awards to the students following the competition.