March 27, 2019

Three WCU Students Are Finalists in PA State System Business Plan Competition

PASSHE logoThree of the West Chester University students who entered plans into the eighth annual Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) 2019 business plan competition have been named finalists. Another WCU student is among the seven semi-finalists who will present posters prior to the awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 3.

Ten teams are vying for a $10,000 first prize. Second- and third-place finishers will receive prizes of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. WCU’s students and the business plans they submitted are:

William Todd: Nexus Integrated Security Solutions. Provides premium security services to commercial, industrial, and retail clients.

Salih Salaam: TUS: Tutors 4 University Students. Connects college students with tutors whenever, wherever, and for the subject where help is needed now, at a price point affordable by the student and attractive to qualified tutors.

Matthew Heilman, Wish Respect. Offers a first-of-its-kind advance care documentation ecosystem that allows healthcare payers to store and share their members' wishes with loved ones and providers.

In addition to the business plan awards, the seven best poster displays from participants who did not make it to the finalist round will also be honored with two cash awards. WCU’s Braedon Swindler will exhibit his poster plan for Entourage Music, a web-based central repository for emerging musicians to raise funds, develop fan-focused communities, and network with other artists. Posters from both finalists and semi-finalists will be on display during a reception preceding the awards ceremony.

“The ideas generated by the entrepreneurial young minds that take part in this competition each year demonstrate the tremendous level of creativity and inventiveness our students possess,” said PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein. “These students, and the faculty who help guide them, deserve our congratulations for the hard work they already have put in to make it this far in the competition.”

Added PASSHE Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira, “This competition is a perfect example of how our universities are preparing students for success, not just in the classroom, but well beyond.”

The awards ceremony will be held at the PA State System’s Dixon University Center in Harrisburg beginning at 5:15 p.m. with a student poster reception.

Judges for the finalist round are Sheri R. Collins, deputy secretary for the Office of Technology & Innovation in the state Department of Community and Economic Development; Michael Gildea, founder and CEO of Brain Gain, LLC; Chris Rhine, university development manager for the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU); Laura Potthoff, director of business & workforce development for the Cumberland Area Economics Development Corporation; and Matthew Lancaster, president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Keiretsu Forum.

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