This year’s Enterprise Plan Competition was fabulous! For the first time, finalists presented in the newly opened Pomerleau Alumni Center. Each of the five presentations was really well attended – in fact, we had an overflow crowd watching from the hallway for most of the afternoon. The best way to summarize the event is simply to reproduce the press release the College put out after the event, so here goes:
Christen Perreault of Sturbridge, Mass., takes top honors & $5,000 prize
Saint Michael’s College Enterprise Plan Competition yields “The 5 best plans in 12 years of the contest, without a doubt.”
A fully thought-out, sophisticated, workable plan for a gourmet cafe called THINKING OVER to be located in Niantic, Connecticut, “dedicated to delicious high quality food, community, and the importance that both play in our everyday lives,” took top prize at the 12th annual Saint Michael’s College Enterprise Competition held in the Pomerleau Alumni Center on April 29. The winning plan was written and conceived over the course of the past semester at Saint Michael’s by Christen Perreault under the guidance of her professor Dr. Karen Popovich.
Ms. Perreault, a senior business administration major, the daughter of Paul and Cecile Perreault of Sturbridge, Mass., won the $5,000 top prize for her plan. The prize was donated by the originator of the competition, Peter Worrell, graduate of the Saint Michael’s class of 1979, former trustee of the college, and managing partner of the Bigelow Company LLC of Portsmouth, N.H.; and by his wife Dr. Kareen Kendrick Worrell of the Saint Michael’s class of 1977.
“These were the five best plans in 12 years of this competition without a doubt,” Mr. Worrell said.
Some 27 plans were entered and read by the Saint Michael’s College faculty in business administration and accounting. The 27 were narrowed to 12 finalists described as “just decimal points apart,” and then five final finalists were selected to make half-hour presentations before a panel of judges on April 29, when the winners were selected. The competition challenges students “to develop and market sustainable business plans to a panel of business leaders serving as competition judges,” said Dr. Robert Letovsky, chair of the SMC department of business administration and accounting.
2nd & 3rd place winners
2nd place and $3,000 went to KIZOS, a plan to develop a summer camp, after-school program for children, created by Nina S. Hurley of Jericho, Vt., Meredith B. Austin of Essex Junction, Vt., and Adam G. Reczek of Andover, Mass.
3rd place and $2,000 went to THE MEADOWS, a plan for a golf center to be located in Hinesburg, Vt., with day and night facilities, driving range and more, created by Nicholas J. Anti of Wilbraham, Mass., Matthew T. Geary of Wellesley, Mass., and Abby B. Middleton of Portsmouth, N.H.
“Today is a time of flourishing entrepreneurship,” said Peter Worrell
In presenting the awards, Peter Worrell stressed the importance of entrepreneurship in our uncertain world. He said more companies have been formed in this recent climate of economic challenge, than ever in history. Recent studies, he said, indicate that the traits of successful entrepreneurs are authenticity, fairness, zest, leadership and persistence; not creativity or risk taking.
“And these plans, all five of the finalists, showed traits of successful entrepreneurs, especially persistence,” Mr. Worrell said. “I am proud of every one of you, and I salute you.”
THINKING OVER wins top award: “It’s family, friends and food!”
Ms. Perreault’s business plan was remarkable for its thoroughness and detail. The 81-page document covers mission, location, facilities, products, competition, sourcing, market segmentation, target market, demographics, management structure, personnel, startup costs, opening-day balance sheet, marketing strategy, including positioning, pricing, promotion, sales, and a thorough financial plan with a loan amortization schedule, break-even analysis, sales forecast, P&L statement, 12-month cash flow charts, and on and on, even including recipes, and cost of wholesale food items, one by one.
This young CEO, Christen Perreault, worked out a very appealing, very well planned compay, designed, she wrote, for consumers with hectic life styles who desire balanced alternatives . . .THINKING OVER provides simplicity through seasonal, nutritional, reasonably priced lunches and gourmet-to-go dinners . . . [located for easy] exit and reentry of Interstate 95 on the way home from work.”
Her vision statement says the business “aims to support the local economy, believing that delicious, local, seasonal food will enhance the lives of all who enjoy it . . . [and that the company] will work to revive the village community through local food and . . . commitment to community.” THINKING OVER’s slogan: “It’s family, friends, and food.”
Nancy Edwards Cronin, principal partner of ipCapital Group, which is an adviser to energy and environmental companies, chemical manufacturers, electronics, medical devices, semiconductors and others, regarding strategy. Ms. Cronin earned a BS in engineering from Cal Tech, and an MS in engineering from Harvard.
Bob Dillon, CEO of Hubbardton Forge, one of the premier lighting makers in the country, located in Castleton, Vt., known for its environmentally responsible manufacturing methods. Mr. Dillon has 30 yeas experience in the home furnishings industry, including senior leadership with Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers in Maine, Holly Hunt in Chicago, and Stickley in Manlius, N.Y.
Carolyn Edwards, president and CEO of competitive Computing (C2), of Vermont, an 18-year old technology consulting firm specializing in internet business solutions. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
Sean Gammon, CEO of Members Advantage Community Credit Union, a position he took in 2002, and since has tripled the membership base and increased assets almost 500%. He holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Vermont.
Gerry Murphy, a 1988 graduate of Saint Michael’s College, with over 20 years experience in the securities industry. He is managing partner of GMM One Partners of Boston, a consultancy focused on small and midsize financial software companies.
The other two finalists in the five-team group selected to make presentations of their plans were:
CHICAGO CARP FISHERY, a plan created by Derrick C. Cumberbatch, Ryan G. Gannon, Mark W. Stone, Robert F. Welsh, and Christian M. Zizza.
SENSIBLE PHARMACEUTICAL SOLUTIONS, a plan created by Gael K. Shungu, Brendan J. Sullivan, Kayla J. Leonard, Sarah M. Kidd, and tyler Z. Gillingham.