Camping Plan Travels to Top with Judges

Sterling Montes of

Sterling Montes of, a one-stop planning/booking resource for camping trips and equipment, took first place at the 23rd annual Westmont Collegiate Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition on Dec. 6. Students Davis Darnall, Sterling Montes, Tyler Nordlund and Henry Prevette presented their winning venture plan to an overflow crowd of more than 90 in Westmont’s Founders Room.

The final four venture teams made 15-minute presentations followed by 20 minutes of questions from the five judges, Susan Block, investment banker at Block-Bowman & Associates; Peter Dealy, president of West End Partners; Eli Eisenberg, founder and CEO of Straight Line Management; Barry Fay, president of McConnell’s Ice Cream and owner of Montecito Growth Advisors; and Jason Spievak, CEO of RingRevenue and former CFO of Callwave.

LEEF by S.K.S. Technologies, providing immediate, automatic digital back-up and storage of photos from digital SLR cameras, (Ryan Stalker, Taylor Skidmore, Filipp Kozachuk) came in second and Earthos Corp., an online, interactive marketplace for non-profit organizations to sell products direct to conscientious consumers, (Dave Gaultiere, Aaron Bailey, Nick Cruz) earned third place.

The student teams will now be entered into national collegiate business plan competitions hosted at different universities around the U.S. during spring 2013.

Thirty-four students in Westmont’s Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development class formed 10 venture teams, and a separate screening panel, which included David Newton, professor of entrepreneurship, selected the final four.

More than 70 former students of Newton’s have launched and managed their own ventures, and 28 venture teams have gone on to compete in national venture forums since 1990.