The Trident Initiative at Frostburg State University’s end-of-the-year celebration featured entrepreneurship students presenting their business projects before an audience of business leaders, bank officials, economic development officials and FSU personnel.
Presenting students were enrolled in the introductory entrepreneurship course, “New Business Ventures.” With “seed money” of under $200 per project, the students formed partnerships to begin a variety of businesses based on an extensive list of possibilities. Students progressed through various steps in order to develop a mini business plan, at which point they requested the seed money, provided through a grant from the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.
This semester, Keramat Poorsoltan, who teaches the course, was able to give a total of $1,900 to 29 students, whose partnerships resulted in 12 different businesses. At the end of each semester-long project, Poorsoltan collects the initial funds, along with a 10 percent “tax” on each business’ net profit. Collected funds are deposited in the account of the student-managed FSU Entrepreneurship Club and go towards financing various activities.
The students and their projects are: Ryan Smith and Mikaela Walker (computer recycling); Neil Alexander, Andrew May and Megan Falls (calendars featuring local scenery); Ryan McLaughlin, Jacob Burk and Shavonn Griffith (student home repairs); Kiera Douglas, Dale DeBerry and Matthew Ritter (live performance recording); Timothy Kotchenreuter, Anthony Nelson and Patrick O’Brien (baked goods catering); Robert Arnott and Danielle Hainsey (home cleaning); Scott Taylor and Ryan Sarigianis (event planning); Sara Mordent, Gregory Bosserman and Christopher Idol (moped repair, redesign, and resale); Jon Eichel (postcards with local appeal); Kodjo Gnatiko and Sean Leaman (water aerobics); Paul Merrill, Ryan Ferriter and Michael O’Haver (trash recycling); and James Valiga and Herman Harris (resale of used clothing).
A panel of judges comprising of faculty and local business professionals awarded certificates of recognition to several teams and a cash award to one team. The award for “Marketing, Teamwork Effectiveness and Most Community-Oriented” went to Neil Alexander, Andrew May and Megan Falls. The award for “Best Financial Reporting” was given to Kotchenreuter, Nelson and O’Brien. Valiga and Harris won the award for “Best Marketing Plan.” The “Best Business Project” award, which included a cash prize of $300, was given to Merrill, Ferriter and O’Haver for the trash recycling business.
In addition to the presentations, John Kirby, Frostburg city administrator, and Quinn Conyers of Speak2Society, a motivational speaking firm in Washington, D.C., spoke to the group.
For more information about FSU’s College of Business, visit the Web site at www.frostburg.edu/colleges/cob. For more information about the Trident Initiative, call Keramat Poorsoltan at (301) 687-7498 or Sudhir Singh at (301) 687-4093.