Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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Business Competitions offer unique learning experiences for Millikin students

2013 Freshman Business Plan Competition

First-year business students in Millikin University's Tabor School of Business are required to create a business plan as part of their Introduction to Business course. Recently, they competed as teams to become finalists for the 2013 Freshman Business Plan Competition held during Millikin's Celebrations of Scholarship on April 26 in ADM-Scovill Hall on Millikin's campus.

The Introduction to Business course is designed to provide first-year undergrads with a basic understanding of business. The course stresses the personal and professional development of various business functions culminating with a team-designed written business plan outlining a proposal to operate an enterprise of their choice and a professional presentation.

The first presentation of the competition came from Forumstudy featuring Debbie Vogel, a freshman from Springfield, Ill.; Taylor Lowery, a freshman from Avon, Ind.; and Trevor Crum, a freshman from Heyworth, Ill. Forumstudy is a web-based company that sells textbooks in e-book format to college students.

The competition's second presentation came from the company Illiniwek Unlimited Shooting featuring Dillon Damarin, a freshman from Decatur, Ill.; Diana Popoca, a freshman from Woodstock, Ill.; and Rachael Coyle, a freshman from Amboy, Ill. Illiniwek Unlimited Shooting is a unique shooting range facility that incorporates specialty lessons to help overcome the problems of the shooting range industry.

The final presentation of the competition came from Pearl Leaf Tea Company featuring Natalie Mendez, a freshman from Palos Heights, Ill.; Alex Tueth, a freshman from Decatur, Ill.; Mallory Casner, a freshman from Pana, Ill.; and Nathan Trout, a freshman from Highland, Ill. Pearl Leaf Tea Company is a boba tea shop that offers a mix of boba beverages including additional items such as gourmet pretzels.

Illiniwek Unlimited Shooting was chosen the winner of the 2013 Freshman Business Plan Competition. As a result of the votes, the team receives an all-expense paid trip to the Dominican Republic next January. The trip will provide an opportunity for the students to learn about and experience international business. 

Watch a video about the 2013 Freshman Business Plan Competition

"The amount of work and research we did leading up to the competition gave us an idea on how to run a business," said Dillon Damarin. "It was fun and it was a good experience. Some of the things I learned from this project were time management and teamwork. I was excited that we won because it was a really good competition."

Rachel Coyle added, “One of the more important parts about this project is learning how to work in a team, and understanding how much research it takes to figure out how to run a business efficiently. It was a hands-on experience that taught important business skills. I was extremely happy that we won the competition."

2013 Business Creation Competition Winners

The 2013 Business Creation Competition showcases student ideas and concepts for a business. Students compete individually or as a team for cash prizes and seed funding based on the quality, creativity, and innovation of their business. The competition is open to Millikin undergraduate students from any area of study.

Students prepare a business model and presentation for a panel of judges made up of outside business professionals. Judges considered the following in their selection process:

- Creativity/Innovation of business idea/concept/model
- Validation of why the business idea will work

The Millikin University Tabor School of Business is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Business Creation Competition.

$1,650 award
Dux Labs
– Levi Cushing, a senior from Decatur, Ill.; Blake Walters, a junior from Taylorville, Ill.; Aaron Davis, a senior from Morton Grove, Ill.; Conner Kerrigan, a junior from Frankfort, Ill.; and Kort Branscome, a freshman from Greenville, Ill.

Dux Labs is a start-up tech development firm that strives to be the leaders in providing useful, innovative and fun applications available to the masses.

$500 award
Role Model Entertainment
– Urbane Dunlap, a senior from Ottawa, Ill.

Role Model Entertainment is a company that focuses on the development of independent musical talent, creation of product, and the marketing of clients’ finished products including digital distribution of music.

$500 award
Branch-Out Athletics
– Malcolm Branch, a senior from Chicago, Ill.

Branch-Out Athletics (BOA) is for individuals who want to both prepare themselves for a self-sufficient lifestyle as well as enhance their athletic skill to a greater level under expert instructional training.

$150 award
Jon T. Clothing
– Jonathan Tyler Hicks-Oliver, a junior from Decatur, Ill.

Jon T. Clothing will allow customers to see the vision and a dream of the designer. Jon T. Clothing will give customers a high quality product that's fashionable, trending, fair in price and accessible while upholding Jon T. Clothing's slogan of "every aspect of life, wear what you envision."

$100 award
AK Engineering
– Alex Kidd, a senior from Decatur, Ill.

AK Engineering is an audio engineering company that offers live audio reinforcement as well as studio recording assistance based out of Decatur, Ill.

$100 award
Peter Party
– Peter Khiev, a senior from Saint André les Vergers, France

Peter Party is an online shop where customers order all the food and beverages they need to have for a party and can be picked up at the company's warehouse. The company is located in Saint André les Vergers, France.

The competition judging panel included Professor Dennis Beard '82, a member of Serra Ventures, LLC, a consulting and investment firm located in Champaign, Ill.; Pete Paulin, chief executive officer of 300 Below, Inc.; and Chris Phillips '98, vice president of marketing at Land of Lincoln Credit Union.

Some winners may be invited to apply for additional funds as well as a space in Millikin's student business incubator, The Hub. A variety of businesses have been presented in past competitions including recording companies, theatre companies, a micro-investment firm, a graphic design company, restaurants, a software development company, and more.

For more information about the annual Freshman Business Plan & Business Creation Competitions, visit or call the Millikin University Tabor School of Business at 217.424.6285.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL