CSU Business Plan Competition Winners Announced

Business Plan Competition winners, 2013COLUMBUS, Ga. — A proposed environmental services company won top prize at the third annual Columbus State University Business Plan Competition.

CSU business students who drafted the plan for Greene Environmental and other winners were announced at an April luncheon hosted by CSU's Turner College of Business.

Plans were solicited from across campus and judged by a panel of local business owners and Turner college professors. The business owners, all CSU alumni, were retired Army Brig. Gen. Rodney Barham (BBA '79), BookKeeping Express, Columbus; Jenny Satterwhite (BBA '06), Salon Bellage and Day Spa, Columbus; and local entrepreneur Steve Taylor (B.S. '77). They were joined by Steven Brown and Phil Bryant, both assistant professors in the college's Department of Marketing and Management; lecturer Larry Cardin; and Jack Goldfrank, the college's executive-in-residence.

The five-student team that created the plan for Greene Environmental proposed that it provide such services as emergency spill response, underground storage tank maintenance and solid waste management. Company President Mary Greene, a CSU business major, shared the accomplishment with partners Kenneth Summers, Brittany Napier and Jason Raley, also Turner College students. The judges took special note of Greene's plans to grow beyond the typical company. Greene's team partners forfeited their share of the $5,000 in prize money to allow her to use the funds to start the business.

Scorpio Reeds, a startup that would specialize in handmade oboe and bassoon reeds, finished second, winning $1,000. Founder Clara Vargas, a student at CSU's Schwob School of Music, impressed judges with her ability to produce large quantities of custom-made reeds and her plans to expand the product line using the Internet. Vargas eventually plans to sell other accessories for professional and amateur musicians.

Keynote speaker for the luncheon was Bill Jordan, president of Jordan Outdoor Enterprises of Columbus, who conceived Realtree camouflage. He told the history of his company and how it grew from his original drawing into the No. 1 camouflage licensing company in the world.

Kirk Heriot, CSU's Ray and Evelyn Crowley Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship, launched the annual Business Plan Competition in 2010. The competition aims to promote entrepreneurship and development of startups, to build bridges between the university and the Columbus area, and to encourage commercialization of promising ideas emerging from the local community. For more information, visit http://ColumbusState.edu/businessplan.

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