Six student-lead businesses—some startups, some existing—will complete in the final round of the Kenneth A. Frierich Business Plan Competition on Friday at the Tang Museum. The student entrepreneurs will vie for a first prize of $20,000 and a second and third prizes of $10,000 and $5,000. They are:
Ezra Levy '15 and Monica Jewell '15. They've launched a Web-based enterprise, Open Campus, that matches college students with businesses offering real-world freelance work requiring the skills that the students showcase in portfolios on the site.
Walter Barber '14, Ian Van Nest '14, and Andrew Zimmermann '14. As Leaf Pile Media, they created an "original fictional universe" that they aim to turn into a profitable board game, graphic novel, and app, eventually expanding into online games and animation.
Stella Langat '16. She is registering Dubble Dee's LLC in Kenya as what she describes as the nation's first undergarment production company dedicated to making reasonably priced intimate apparel for the modern African woman.
Adam Beek '15. Lunching Munchi Heaving Agri, he aims to develop an organic farming enterprise in Jamaica to grow celery, lettuce, and other products with the goal of making an impact on his local community.
Alexander Nassief '16 and Zach Rohde '14. Taking second place in last year's Frierich Competition, they continue to grow Rum Dog Inc., developing a luxury rum brand based in Dominica and a patent-pending, proprietary aging method in which barrels of rum are submerged in the Caribbean Sea.
Seth Berger '14.Taking third place in last year's Frierich Competition, he continues to develop East Coast Lacrosse, a maker of lacrosse apparel that last year generated sales of more than $73,000.
"Each year, the quality of the plans and the presentations just keeps improving," says Ken Frierich '90, founder of the contest. He started his own publishing business as a student and is now president of Health Monitor Network. "It's deeply rewarding to see so many students following their passions and developing these businesses with such talent and creativity. I continue to get inspired by them," he adds. As he did last year, Freirich contributed $20,000 toward the first prize. Other alumni contributed prize money as well.