Three from Cal U Are Business Plan Finalists

Mar 25, 2019

At stake for the winners of the Student Business Plan Competition, organized by Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, is a $10,000 prize.

business plan

When it comes to entrepreneurial spirit, three from Cal U stand out.

The team of Tyler Klenk, Morgan Hartley and Olga Plaksina, plus Shippensburg University student Trevor Dewaele, is among 10 finalists in the 2019 Student Business Plan Competition organized by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

The foursome is competing for a $10,000 prize with a plan for Higher’d, described as “a mobile app and website that matches job openings from local area small businesses and chambers of commerce with high school and college-aged students who are looking for work.”

Klenk earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his associate degree in technical studies, both in December 2018. Hartley is majoring in business administration with a concentration in human resource management. Plaksina is a business administration major with a concentration in economics and a minor in management.

Winners of the eighth annual competition will be announced April 3 at an awards ceremony at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg, Pa. In addition to the top prize, the second- and third-place finishers receive $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.

The 10 finalists and seven semi-finalists were invited to design posters to be displayed before the awards ceremony, with prizes of $350 and $150 at stake.

Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia Shapira described the competition as “the perfect example of how our universities are preparing students for … success.”

“Several past winners have gone on to launch successful businesses based on the plans they developed as part of this practical, real-life experience,” Shapira said. “No doubt, more will follow.”

Students from all 14 State System universities were eligible to enter the competition, which gives students a chance to share their original business plans and win funds to help start or expand their ventures.

Finalists developed plans for everything from hand-crafted motorcycle turn signals to  environmentally friendly “coffee logs,” an alternative to firewood created from used coffee beans.

The student entrepreneurs also created plans for commercial security services, a customer loyalty program, and a program connecting college students with tutors.

 “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,” System Chancellor Dan Greenstein said.

“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.”