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CMU competition awards thousands to aspiring student entrepreneurs

Students pitch businesses in 5th New Venture Competition

Contact: Heather Smith

​An acne cure, a city of Detroit urban revitalization and tiny homes were all startup business proposals presented by Central Michigan University student teams Friday in the 5th annual New Venture Competition.

These business and nearly 25 others competed for more than $75,000 in seed money in the daylong competition.

Led by the CMU College of Business Administration's Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship, the New Venture Competition is a forum for learning, identifying, nurturing, and showcasing emerging entrepreneurs and their businesses. More than 50 judges, including angel investors and venture capitalists, mentor the students along the way.

This year's winners include:

Best overall: Episcura                                                                  $30,000

Kurt Baringer — Beaverton

Christian Day — Muskegon/New York City

Chris Green — New York City

Patrick McAvena — New York City

Best social venture: Humble Abode Tiny Homes                    $10,000

Sarah Campbell – Three Oaks

Jessica Koskinen – Harrison

Best technology: HydroGuide​                                                    $10,000​ 

Alex Grabinski – South Lyon

Nathaniel Slappey III – Detroit

Most impact on Michigan: Revolve Replication                      $10,000

Samantha Pina — Mount Pleasant

Joseph Pina — Mount Pleasant


Highest growth potential: Beergo                                              $10,000

Anthony Lazzaro — Hope

Cheryl Hunter — Mount Pleasant


Best lifestyle venture: 3T, LLC                                                      $5,000

Troy Prill — Ada

Julie Claveau — Scottsville

Ryan Swindlehurst – Roseville

The CMU New Venture Competition received recognition in 2013 as the "Best Educational Program of the Year" from Automation Alley. This recognition acknowledges the combination of CMU's entrepreneurship curriculum with experiential opportunities maximizing students' potential to launch a business.

Read stories behind the New Venture Competition​​

View photos from the competition here.

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