First Annual Be Entrepreneurial Business Plan Challenge


The First Annual Be Entrepreneurial Business Plan Challenge, co-hosted by the Junior Achievement of Space Coast (JASC) and the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business Women’s Business Center (WBC), was held on December 8th at Florida Tech.

Ten teams from Palm Bay, Melbourne, and Viera high schools in Brevard County competed in a preliminary round; each team giving a PowerPoint presentation describing an entrepreneurial venture with optional one-minute videos for extra credit.

Volunteer judges scored each of the teams of which four advanced to a final round. Student participants not selected were invited to watch the final round presentations.

Business Student Panelists

Three teams were selected as the winners of the business plan challenge. They were decided by mock investment by the final judging panel, the finalists, the students from the preliminary round along with a group of Florida Tech MBA and undergraduate student panelists.

(Pictured are business student panelists
(left to right): Morgan Wilson, <Mr. Tim Muth, Dean Ann Becker>, Hsu Hui
Huang (MBA), Randy Stockman, Erika Cobb, and Asif Jassani.)

The first place award went to the Yogini team from Palm Bay High School. Mr. Dan Balda presented the team with a $1,000 award provided by the Balda Family Foundation. The second place award went to the Threads for Heads team from Viera High School; and the third place award was presented to the  Lighthouse Energy Conservation System team from Melbourne High School.

Team Presentation

All of the teams did an amazing job in their business plan presentations. They received outstanding guidance from dedicated teachers and JA volunteers. These included: Ms. Sandra Spence, Viera High School; Mr. John McGeough and Mr. Robert Keimer, Palm Bay High School; and Ms. Marilyn Kraus, Melbourne High School.

A complementary lunch was provided by Craig Technologies in Florida Tech’s Panther Dining facility. A complementary flash drive was given to the participants by Peoples Financial Group. Space Coast Business was on-hand to take pictures. A special thanks to Carol Craig, Brent Peoples, Josh Field, and Jeff Piersall for their generous donations!

Jean Newell & Bob Keimer

Our judges, business leaders, accomplished entrepreneurs, and academicians, donated their time by participating in morning and afternoon sessions. The judges included: Mr. Dan Balda, Medicomp, Inc.; Mr. Tim Muth and Dean Ann Becker, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business; Mr. Josh Field, Space Coast Business; Dr. Donn Miller-Kermani, Women’s Business Center, Mr. Mike Williams, MH Williams Construction Group, Inc.; Ms. Jean Newell, Newco Enterprises, LLC; and Mr. Mike McBride, McBride Marketing Group.

Kristin Schreiner (JASC), Dr. Donn Miller-Kermani and Renee Couperthwaite (WBC)

We offer a special “thank you” to those working behind the scenes to make this an inspiring event for students, teachers, and judges. These individuals include: Dr. Donn Miller-Kermani and Ms. Renee Couperthwaite at the Women’s Business Center, Ms. Jarin Eisenberg and Mr. Zachary Gabe, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, and Ms. Kristin Schreiner, Executive Director of JASC.




Featured Picture: Yogini Team Members Brittany Shick, Kim Gonzalez, Teri Johnson, Shai Mace, and Allie Sienkiewicz from Palm Bay High School and Dan Balda on behalf of the Balda Family Foundation.

More pictures from the days event are shown below.

Threads for Heads Second Place Winning Team

Lighthouse Energy Conservation System Third Place Winning Team


Florida Tech Volunteers Zach Gabe and Jarin Eisenberg


About Author

Dr. S. Ann Becker is the dean of the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business at Florida Tech with oversight of the Center for Entrepreneurship and New Business Development. She has served the college as both associate dean of research and academic chair for online CIS and MBA business degree programs. Dr. Becker has twenty plus years of academic experience with over 100 publications. She has held tenured positions at Northern Arizona University and American University, Washington D.C. Dr. Becker has an MBA from St. Cloud State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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