USF students earn cash prizes in annual business plan competition

Senior accounting major Cassondra Loshe, left, senior business administration major Katherine Nix and sophomore business administration student Haley Roehm earned first prize in the annual Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership Business Plan Competition at the University of Saint Francis.

April 22, 2014 FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A trio of University of Saint Francis business students earned $2,000 for their winning business plan as part of the annual Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership Business Plan Competition Friday, April 17 at the North Campus.

Senior accounting major Cassondra Loshe, senior business administration major Katherine Nix and sophomore business administration major Haley Roehm shared first place honors for their business plan, “Fall Ball Series.” They designed “Fall Ball” as a charity event to financially and socially benefit Turnstone Inc., a Fort Wayne provider of services for people with disabilities, while providing economic impact for Fort Wayne. “Fall Ball” would provide a fun-filled, family atmosphere to financially benefit Turnstone through quality baseball, food, entertainment and activities in a welcoming and happy culture.

The second-place team of freshman business administration majors Nicole Norton and David Hamel shared $1,000 to develop “Breast Friends,” a tool for men and women suffering from breast cancer. The business would pair patients and survivors to help sufferers though the treatment process, helping them to also become survivors. Students cited a Kaiser Permanente study of 2,264 women diagnosed with early stage invasive breast cancer, which found socially isolated women were 34 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than women with close social ties.

Junior liberal studies major Molly Pyle earned third place and $500 for THRIVE, in which leaders serve as a team of holistic healthcare professionals. The team would provide chiropractic therapy, primary care by a naturopathic physician and integrated medical doctor, music therapy, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, massage therapy, herbal supplements, nutritional education, exercise education, organic foods and essential oil therapies and products.

The students will use the winnings as seed money to develop their business ideas. Awards were made on the basis of a plan’s feasibility, ease of implementation and focus on the university’s Franciscan values.

Entrepreneurship Advisory Board members judged the event. Members are Dennis Tratnyek, Star Financial; Keith Davis, Star Wealth Management Financial; Mike Kelly, Caliente; Gwyn Eastom, BKD; Dick Teets, Steel Dynamics Inc.; Stacey Smith, Prairie Quest; Josh Burkhardt, Beers, Mallers, Backs, & Salin; John Faylor, Premier Payroll; Diane Parent, Sperry Van Lines; and Jay Leonard, Preferred Automotive Group.

  The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.

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