Student entrepreneurs vie for start-up funding

Photograph by Kasey Judge Mandy Swearingen, who recieved the second- place prize of $300, showcases her product idea, GRUPZZ, an app that allows students to organize groups for class assignments.
Photograph by Kasey Judge
Mandy Swearingen, who recieved the second- place prize of $300, showcases her product idea, GRUPZZ, an app that allows students to organize groups for class assignments.

Students from Chico State and nearby universities showed off their ideas for consumers at the 2013 Business Concept Competition, which was put on by the Chico State Center for Entrepreneurship on Nov. 14.

The competition hosted 20 student finalists who were competing for a cash prize to help jumpstart their business ideas.

Peter Farsai won the first place, $500 prize with his app, Outdoor Ally, which alerts hunters and fishermen to local guidelines so they can avoid fines, said Peter Straus, a professor in Chico State’s management department.

“Quite often hunters are unaware that they are even breaking a law,” Straus said. “His app would be a great help to outdoorsmen and women everywhere.”

Mandy Swearingen received the second place, $300 prize for GRUPZZ, an app that helps students organize group assignments.

The third place, $100 prize was awarded to two teams. One team, led by Luis Mejia and Chris Mendez, presented their idea for PartitionPal, an inexpensive dorm room divider. Five engineering students helped them design the product. The other third-place award recipient was Sean Kvarda, who presented his idea for a search engine optimization tool.

The students worked hard to earn the cash prizes, but they’ll need much more money to move their projects along, Straus said.

The Center for Entrepreneurship has an Accelerator Fund that allows students to present their ideas and request between $5,000 and $10,000 for their ideas, Straus said. Those who qualify for this award receive the funding from 3Core, a non-profit organization that helps promote these ideas in Butte County.

 

Aubrey Crosby can be reached at [email protected] or @aubreycrosby on Twitter.