Once again, this year’s Enterprise Plan Competition was a great success!  Another first for EPC – we were able to record the entire event on the College’s Tegrity system, so anyone who was unable to attend the actual presentations on April 20, 2012 can watch them.   Simply go the EPC web site (http://www.smcvt.edu/academics/enterprise/default.asp) and you’ll be able to see the link.

Here is the press release the College put out after the event:

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 Alliance Freeride,” business plan of Matthew Benedetto, Peter Engen & Ashley Langlands, wins top prize in Saint Michael’s Enterprise Plan Competition

 

With the growth of freestyle skiing into acceptance in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, three adventurous ski-advocates and business students landed on a creative idea for a business.  And these three Saint Michael’s College senior business majors beat out some superb competition to be named winners in the 2012 Saint Michael’s College Enterprise Plan Competition at the finals held April 20, 2012, in the Pomerleau Alumni Center at Saint Michael’s College.

The team of Matthew Benedetto of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., Peter Engen of Conway, N.H., and Ashley Langlands of Shelburne, N.H. with their plan for Alliance Freeride company, took the first prize award of $5,000.

Second and third places went to Other Side of the Mountain by Denise Belanger and Benjamin Hodges, $2,500 prize, and Camp Hakuna Matata by Michael DeCristofaro and Alexandra Tashjian, $1,000 prize. Hodges, $2,500 prize, and Camp Hakuna Matata by Michael DeCristofaro and Alexandra Tashjian, $1,000 prize. The student plans were developed over the fall 2011 or spring 2012 semesters. Seventeen plans were entered in the event and triple-read by SMC faculty, narrowing the pool down  to the five finalists.  These five teams presented their plans to a panel of business executives who served as judges.

Enterprise Plan history

Established in 2000 and supported ever since by founders Peter and Kareen Worrell, the plan challenges SMC undergraduates to develop start-up and market sustainable business plans to a panel of business leaders who serve as competition judges. Peter Worrell, managing partner of the Bigelow Company, is a former SMC trustee, and a 1979 graduate of Saint Michael’s; Dr. Kareen Kendrick Worrell is a 1977 SMC graduate. They are residents of Portsmouth, N.H.

Alliance Freeride business

“Alliance Freeride will be a unique retail enterprise specializing in the growing freestyle skiing market, with the additional goal of increasing awareness of this emerging sport,” the team wrote in the executive summary to their 60 page business plan (with 8 pages of appendices).

The highly detailed, creative and insightful plan covered everything from mission and vision to an outline of company partners, products, a market analysis, a strategy and implementation summary, a web plan summary for web sales, measurable milestones, management summary, financial plan, and exit strategy. The financials include extraordinarily detailed projections, with graphs and bar charts and lots of numbers.

The business aims to strengthen the knowledge of freestyle skiing and to be a presence in the retail market. A flagship store in Burlington, Vermont, for seasonal and year-round business, will be supplemented by “a pop-up location” in Government Camp at the base of Mt. Hood, Oregon, where many freestyle skiing athletes train during June and August.

Their plan focuses on serving a niche market of the freestyle community not yet represented in Burlington. The location will tap into the youth vibe of the college town area, and will focus on nearby ski areas and vacation centers in Vermont, Northern New York, Quebec and Maine.

Among their products are traditional freestyle skis, rocker skis, ski poles, gloves and mittens, outerwear, helmets, eyewear, apparel and accessories. The business has creative ways of advancing eco-conscious consumerism and other features.Freeride skiing is an emerging sport on skis, that appears to use the same structural elements, the terrain park, that snowboarders use. The plan states that freeride is “about being an individual and expressing your own personal style.”

Judges

The judges panel, consisting of a mix of senior executives, investors and entrepreneurs, was tremendously impressed with the creativity and poise of all of the presenting teams. This year’s judges were

Dan Browdy, Chief Operating Office of Lantana Consulting, a health care information consultancy, and previously COO of Hubbardton Forge.

Nicole Carignan, executive vice president and CFO of the SymQuest Group, office automation specialists based in South Burlington, Vt.,

Roger Frey, president and owner of Earl’s Cyclery & Fitness of South Burlington, VT, the state’s largest bicycle and fitness equipment retailer.

Sean Gammon, CEO of Members Advantage Community Credit Union, a leading financial cooperative specializing in serving Vermont’s education community.

Steven Magowan, CEO and president of Sunrise Management Services, LLC, an entity that, among other endeavors, invests in start-up and later stage companies.

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Learn What Matters at Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu  . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. Identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 376 Colleges, and included in the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges, Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
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