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Skidmore College
The Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition

2014: Fourth Year

Six teams made presentations at the Tang Museum, vying for $40,000 in cash prizes. The winners were:

  • First Place: Leaf Pile Media. Three English majors with a passion for story telling -- Walter Barber 13, Ian VanNest ’13, and Andrew Zimmerman ‘13 – were awarded $20,000 for their plan to produce original stories on a variety of platforms ranging from games and action figures to television shows and films. They raised more than $22,000 in a recent Kickstarter campaign to fund production of Champions of Hara, a new board game they developed with input from friends during three years in Skidmore residence halls.

  • Second Place: Rum Dogs, Inc. Alexander Nassief '16 and Zach Rohde '14 were awarded $10,000 to develop their Dominica-based luxury rum brand using a proprietary method for aging rum in barrels submerged in the Caribbean Sea.

  • Third Place: East Coast Lacrosse. Seth Berger ’14 was awarded $5,000 to develop his sports apparel business into a national brand. Berger continues to achieve double-digit growth. Exhibiting at the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship, Berger established contacts from all over the U.S. and around the world.

Awards of $1,000 were made to the other three finalists:

  • Stella Langat '16, who proposed to develop Double Dee's LLC as Kenya’s first indigenous undergarment production company;

  • Adam Beek '15, who presented a plan to develop Munchi Heaven Agri as an organic farming enterprise in Jamaica;

  • Ezra Levy '15 and Marcella Jewell '15, who launched a Web-based enterprise, Open Campus,that matches college students with businesses offering real-world projects.

Judges in the competition included Ken Freirich plus:

  • Nancy Cohen Wekselbaum '73, owner, The Gracious Gourmet;
  • Jody Klein '85, chief executive officer, ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.;  
  • Susan Magrino Dunning '83, president, Susan Magrino Agency;
  • Nick MacShane ’91, senior managing director, Progress Partners;
  • Ellen Sherman ’68, producer, Dateline NBC.
  • Nicholas Platt ’76, entrepreneur, finance and corporate executive, and mayor of Harding Township, N.J.