Four JWU Charlotte students grew closer to making their business ideas a reality by winning that campus' annual Sharkfest entrepreneurship competition.
A total of 79 students entered the competition. The final event featured 9 finalists pitching their businesses to a panel of 20 industry judges.
Charlotte Sharkfest Winners
Christian DiChiara and Blake Mitkoff won the $5,000 grand prize for ChefBook, a mobile app allowing consumers to perform customized searches for private chefs. They also won $1,000 for the People's Choice Award.
Elizabeth Katona won the $3,000 second prize for Petit Four, her customized macaron business.
The $2,000 prize went to Fernando Coreas' ServeU, which matches students with customers looking for help with odd jobs.
Confidence and the Value of Entrepeneurship
Student-entrepreneurs were mentored by Renaissance Executive Forums (REF), an executive training firm based in La Jolla, Calif.
Jeff Thomas, School of Business college chair and associate professor, noted, “This event … illustrates how entrepreneurship can engage our students and better connect the classroom to the real world. The top 3 ventures are actually launching and growing.”
“I almost want to get back out there and do it again,” noted competitor Mary Guin, a business student.
Next Stop: Sharkfest 2015
ChefBook's DiChiara and Mitkoff will join finalists from North Miami and Denver to compete at JWU Providence's Sharkfest, to be held on April 2. Learn more about JWU's eCenter..