Homeschooled Teens Upset the Field to Win CSU Business Plan Competition

Ann and Joseph HarberCOLUMBUS, Ga. — The homeschooled sister-brother team of Ann and Joseph Harber, 15 and 17 respectively, defeated MBA and undergraduate students to win the top prize at the second annual Columbus State University Business Plan Competition.

The Harbers and other winners were announced at a luncheon hosted by CSU’s Turner College of Business and Computer Science.

The Harbers spent nearly 150 hours developing their plan for Café` Joe, a specialty coffee and gourmet shop, which would be located in Midland. They scouted locations, interviewed potential customers and had solid financial projections. Their plan was the only high school plan to make it through the first round of judging.

“The business plan and presentation by Ann and Joseph Harber was exceptional,” said Kirk Heriot, Crowley Chair of Entrepreneurship Marketing and Management. “Their hard work and passion for their idea were instrumental in winning the grand prize.  In 2013, we look forward to the opportunity to add a third category devoted to entrepreneurs in the local community.”

Steve Taylor, a Turner College business alumnus, was the keynote speaker. He also was presented with the Excellence in Alumni Achievement award during this event.

The college's Business Plan Competition recognizes business plans submitted by college and high school students and has a total of $10,000 in cash prizes. The competition's goal is to promote entrepreneurship.

All plans are reviewed by members of CSU’s Turner College business faculty and local small business owners, who chose plans to submit to the next round of competition. Once selected, finalists are given an opportunity to present their plans to a panel of judges comprised of faculty and business owners.

In the college category first place was won by “Front Yard Diner”, a mobile restaurant which would travel to its customers. The team members were Chandra Chikkakalbalu Pasqual Duttlinger, Oyemayowa Sanwo and Kim Yongsoon.

The team of Kat Cannella, Monchai Chuaychoo, Tony Henderson and Monica Sicka took second place for the college category with WeeGo, a concierge service with a very specific service area. And third place for the college category went to the team of Kate Lindsey, Ashley Moore, Cierra Rubert and Sandra Spivey for Forget-Me-Not Errands and Concierge Service.

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Photo: Ann and Joseph Harber