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Skidmore College
The Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition

2015: Fifth Year

Of 19 student teams that competed in the preliminary round, 12 were invited to make presentations in the final round: eight in the for-profit and artistic category and four in a new social entrepreneurship category. Cash prizes totaled $52,500. The value of in-kind contribution legal and accounting services amounted to $7500.

Prizes in the for-profit and artistic category were awarded as follows:
  • First Place: Double Dee’s. Stella Langat ‘16  was awarded the $20,000 top cash prize plus $5,000 in legal services for her plan to establish Kenya’s first indigenous undergarment industry and address a serious health problem associated with the widespread purchase of second-hand underwear by Kenyan women whose incomes are insufficient to purchase new underwear. On the illegal black market for second-hand underwear all tags are removed, so women do not even know the sizes of the undergarments they are purchasing. The prize will enable Langat to deliver to four retail outlets in Kenya a first run of 500 bras priced in a range most Kenyan women can afford.

  • Second Place: Allstolen Apparel. Elizabeth Worgan '16, David Florence '16, Catherine Headrick '17, and Samuel Barback '17 were awarded $10,000 to develop a new line of clothing that combines sportswear and high fashion.

  • Third Place: Medibloom.  Adam Beek '15, Joshua Chacko '16, and Natalie Williams '15 were awarded $5000 for their plan to provide Canadian and international markets a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijuana called CBD that has been shown to be effective in treating epilepsy and schizophrenia.

  • Fourth Place: Rum Dogs.  Alexander Nassief '16 and Zach Rohde ’14 took the fourth prize of $2500 with its plan to develop its patent-pending technology for aging  rum and other alcoholic drinks in ocean-submerged containers, a method that has been shown to accelerate the process produce superior flavors. Rum Dogs founder

Prizes in the social entrepreneurship category were awarded as follows:

  • First Place: Syans Pou Anise Fondasyon (SPAF).  Kengthsagn Louis '17 was awarded $5000 for her plan to build science laboratories in Haitian schools.

  • Second Place: Klicka. Tshediso Mataka ’15, Derek Nunner ’15, Henry Fabre ’16, Felicia Mazibuko ’17, and Kwanele Tsabedze ’16 were awarded $2500 for their plan to build a network of solar-powered “mobile enrichment centers” in decommissioned shipping containers in remote villages in South Africa.

  • Third Place: Seeds for Peace. Ana Lordkipanidze ’15, Mustafa Chaudry ’14, Nghia Luu ’14, and Nino Tsintsadze ’14 were awarded $2500 for their plan to expand the shipping of non-GMO seeds to people in need around the world.

  • Fourth Place: Fund Knowledge. Shivam Goyal ’17 and James Rimmer ’15 which aims to help young people in developing nations to gain entry to colleges and universities in the U.S.

Judges in the social entrepreneurship category included Freirich plus:

  • David Howson, professor of arts administration at Skidmore;
  • Anita Paley, executive director of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council;
  • Maureen Sager, executive director of the Nordlys Foundation
  • Wendy Summer '73, executive director of the Zaanha and Zaanha Fund
  • Judges in the for-profit and artistic category included Freirich plus:
  • Susan Magrino Dunning ’83, president, Susan Magrino Agency;
  • Rich Wartel '91, founder, Two Labs Marketing;
  • Chris Young '96, general partner, Revel Partners;
  • Ceci Zak '87, chief operating officer, DAS Healthcare Group.
  • Other Skidmore alumni who contributed to this year's competition were Dan Allen '90, Rich Wartel '91, Jody Klein '85 and Kathryn L. Peper '78. Mike Schwab '90, with Abelman, Frayne and Schwab, a law firm based in New York City, contributed legal services. The Saratoga Springs-based accounting firm of Flynn, Walker, Diggin PC CPA, contributed accounting services.