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Friday, March 30, 2012

Fishing Lure Break Away Coupling Startup Wins $5000 At GVSU Biz Plan Contest

GRAND RAPIDS – Seven teams of entrepreneurs from Grand Valley State University competed in an elevator pitch contest Thursday night, the second half of a business-plan competition that earned the winner $5,000.

The winner was a West Michigan company that has developed a break-away coupling for fishing lures that’s currently getting eyed by major sporting goods chains.

Ironically, $5,000 was the amount sought by founder Miles Smith, an international Business & Marketing Major at GVSU, who also is an avid angler. He discovered fishing the Grand River cost him a lot of expensive lures. So he developed a coupling that breaks away leaving only the lure snarled on the rocks, rather than lure, weights, line, the lot. Bahrs is now entered in a regional college business-plan competition April 10 in Grand Rapids.

Sound like an unusual business idea? Well hear what else was pitched at the fifth annual Grand Valley Business Plan Competition :

Designer Vents: Three GVSU students, Jon Rasmussen, marketing major; Sam Rasmussen, a management major; and Bo Anderson, a marketing and management major, have developed designer wall vents for heating and cooling that feature college, and business logs, as well as inspirational sayings. Designer Vents won second place and $3000.

AL&S Solutions: Than Cummings, a natural resources management major, has built a distribution model that John Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, could only envy. He has created 100 certifiable compostable products, ranging from cups to plates, sells those to commercial customers, then picks up the waste products on the other side, composts those, and sells the compost to farmers. AL&S won third place and $1,500.

Converj Social Media: Ryan Skonieczny, a finance and management major, developed programming that will manage the social media strategies of small to medium sized businesses, improving their Internet presence, as well as integrate any Web 2.0 apps and provide the customer with feedback on how well their social marketing campaign is working. Converj won the “Buzz” award and $250.

Other competitors include:

CityTrend: Matt Tyndall, a computer science major, has developed the CityTrend website and mobile phone app that allows an individual to see what’s going on or “trending” in their city as it is happening on social networking sites, like Twitter. He’s doing his beta test in Grand Rapids, along with other connected cities in the state, Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Ride Haus: Adam Ingraham, working on an MBA, and Justin Martisius, working on an MA in Accounting, has developed steel modular bicycle locker rental systems aimed at bike commuters in big metropolitan areas.

T.W.I.N. – Twin brothers Cody and Grady Zuidervenn, an international business and accounting major and biology and biomedical science major, respectively, have created a non-profit organization that creates and distributes alternative water purification systems and green energy to help the developing world. This technology uses UV-LED lights molded into the lids of five-gallon water containers already used by aid and relief agencies to purify water. The initial focus is on Haiti. The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation fifth annual Business Plan Competition encourages entrepreneurially oriented students to develop and grow new ventures based on their ideas. Some interesting idea, eh? a>>

Author: Mike Brennan
Source: MITechNews.Com

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