Published: Fall 2009 in Feature Story

Student Entrepreneurs Unveil Business Plans

A dozen students in Westmont’s entrepreneur class presented their start-up business plans to a panel of outside reviewers at the 20th annual Westmont Collegiate Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition in December.

The event, which included ventures about pricing and securing future wine vintages, social networking for overseas student travelers, inner-city urban sustainable organic farming, and high-tech solar cookers for Third World households, is part of the Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development course, taught by David Newton, professor of entrepreneurial finance, who founded the college’s entrepreneurship program in 1990.

Newton says in late August, eight student venture teams conceived their ideas, then researched and developed their innovative start-up companies over 14 weeks. “Each team had to meet a rigorous schedule of twice-weekly benchmarks, formulating all aspects of their product-service feasibility and long-term viability, as well as analyzing the market and competition,” Newton says.

The resulting final four student venture teams were: City Farm Center LLC, an inner-city organic farm and produce market with an emphasis on organic sustainability education; SOLutions Corporation, an inexpensive, innovative parabolic-design solar cooker for Third World home use; TripCurrent LLC, a real-time, online referral social-network for students travelling in Europe; and Wine Futures Research + Forecasting Inc., an online weather-info hub of leading wine regions worldwide for consumers to secure the best vintages.

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