supporting innovation and entrepreneurship

When the voting was tallied at the Macomb Community College Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) student pitch competition, three startup businesses were awarded a total of $9,000. The event, sponsored by First State Bank and Northwood University, was held Oct. 16 at Macomb’s Center Campus in Clinton Township, MI.

The winner of the competition, awarded $5,000, was Brittney Feggan of Mount Clemens, MI. A business administration student, Feggan developed Beezy, an easy-access baby garment that uses magnetic fasteners instead of snaps, buttons or zippers. She plans to use the prize money to create a limited liability company (LLC), apply for a design patent, create a website and develop prototypes and marketing initiatives.

The second place prize of $3,000 was awarded to LaShay Edwards of Chesterfield Township, MI, for her business, The C.O.R.E. Edwards plans to sell customized clothing to women ages 18 to 25. Edwards, who is studying marketing at Macomb, says she will use the prize money to develop a website and logo, set up an LLC and create the first batch of The C.O.R.E’s signature t-shirts.

Computer science student Yousuf Hussain was awarded third place for The Com.unity Co., an online platform and mobile app that will reward users with coupons and other incentives for interacting with local businesses. Points are given for visiting local shops and volunteering for nonprofit organizations. Hussain plans to use the prize money to help pay for intellectual property protection, supplies, marketing and establishing a beta community. Com.unity received the “audience choice” award, a gift basket with prizes from various shops and gift items from the college.

The student pitch competition involves a student presentation to a panel of five judges. Students are ranked according to strength of idea, understanding of the target market and competition, competitive advantage, financial viability and plans for how the prize money would be spent.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a resource for students and community members for entrepreneurship education and training, mentorship for startups and existing small business and access to capital. The center sponsored the competition to introduce students to the world and process of entrepreneurship.