GovCup-cupSolar Power Innovations came away with the 1st place prize and a $25,000 check in the undergraduate division of the statewide Donald W. Reynolds Business Plan Competition.

The five team members – Jacob Bricklin, Scott Kiernan, Tyler Prange, Alden Spence, and Mitch Wiseman – will head to Las Vegas to compete in the 7th Annual Reynolds Tri-State Competition on May 22-23. The Tri-State gathers the top two undergraduate and graduate winners from statewide competitions in Nevada, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, representing the best of the 45 colleges and major universities who competed during the year.

Solar Power Innovations seeks to apply environmentally sound solutions to everyday problems. Its first product, an “ice independent” portable solar refrigeration unit, has applications for both recreational use and in international humanitarian efforts, such as transporting perishable vaccines to remote areas around the globe.

Solar Power’s journey to 1st place began last fall as one of 150 entrants in SNC’s campus-wide Innovative Ideas Competition and moved forward with their subsequent 1st place win in the College’s Jâlé and Warren Trepp Business Plan Competition. To date, it has earned $29,500 in prize money.

Provost Shannon Beets commented, “I am incredibly proud of this student team and their accomplishments. They showed a professionalism and poise in competition that immediately marked them as SNC students. There is a pattern of excellence emerging that demonstrates what SNC students are made of and the power that their education gives them to succeed.”

President Lynn Gillette noted other recent wins, including Pure Ski Experience’s 2nd place finish in the 2013 Tri-State and the 2013 Governor’s Cup and that of Sabrina Bellici in Middlebury’s MiddCORE Individual Innovation Challenge last summer. “There is a level of determination and persistence in each student who has been a part of these competitions; they show a willingness to try, fall short, and try again, that sets the stage for success.”

“Whether it’s a business plan competition or a national ski or snowboard championship title – SNC’s culture of competition and performance means that students learn to stretch outside of their comfort zones, prepare themselves, and take on new challenges,” Gillette said.

Beets noted, “The success of these amazing students would not have been possible without the faculty who supported them along the way.” She saluted Business Department Chair Kendra Wong for leading a committee of higher education institutions to ensure the Governor’s Cup continued after the Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology ended its role as the organizing entity.

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