Students Present Business Plans in President’s Cup
President’s Cup Winners
Left to right: Rebecca Lincoln, President Lynn Gillette, Arielle Shipe, and Business Chair Rick Normington
President’s Cup Videos
Eagle’s Eye—SNC Student Newspaper
by Caitlin Khoury
by Caitlin Khoury
On Feb. 16, eight Sierra Nevada College students making up 3 different groups presented their business plans in the race for the $3,000 first-place prize at the President’s Cup. Each group gave 30-minute Power Point presentations to the audience and four judges followed by question and answer sessions.
The evening started out with Suit Fling comprised of CEO Austen Butler, CFO David Barnes and web designer William Woodward. Suit Fling caters to job-seeking college students and graduates looking to make a good first impression for the perfect interview, according to Butler.
Their marketing strategies include lower prices than competition, social networking with frequent college visits and search engine optimization. The website, www.suitfling.com, includes interview tips that enhance confidence and are beneficial to creating a good first impression with perspective employers.
“Suit Fling helps to eliminate the anxiety in a student’s transition from academics to a professional career,” said Butler.
The questions asked by judges had to do with the dependability of the chosen cheaper USPS merchandise shipping method compared to Fed Ex and UPS despite higher rates. Other questions included the high investment price of $100,000 and the accessibility of suits for follow-up interviews.
The second group to present created the Go Book. The team was comprised of CEO Arielle Shipe and CFO Rebecca Lincoln. The Go Book is a platform to support a digital tablet such as iPad. It is an organizational study guide that combines textbooks, notebooks and computers. It includes an interactive touch screen as well as a digital pen for note taking.
Shipe came up with the idea through her travel, especially from experiences with the SNC snowboard team. In addition to carrying all of her snowboard gear, having to do homework while on the road at competitions meant she also needed to bring textbooks, a computer, and notebooks with her. The Go Book allows students to be more organized while maximizing space and minimizing weight during travels, not to mention using less paper. The main questioning at the end of the presentation centered on the anticipated demand for exclusive product licensing by tablet companies.
The final business plan was In Touch, a lifestyle website and application for the iPhone. The presenting team included Sabrina Bellici, Zaira Perez and Eva Gyawali. The app caters to the wants and needs of both business and community.
One aspect of the app is a text exchange where students can trade textbooks for other books or points. According to Bellici, In Touch would also partner with local visitor centers and non-profits, enhancing community interaction with valuable information.
Questions for the group included the startup ability with such a small investment asking price of $6,000, the existence of competition with so many existing community apps, and the exchange value of a points system.
After the judges deliberated, the winners of the grand prize of $3,000 were Shipe and Lincoln with Go Book.
“We put in a lot of hours, but it’s always exciting when your hard work pays off,” Shipe said. “However, the President’s Cup is just the beginning. There is still a lot of hard work ahead in preparing for the Governor’s Cup.”
Suit Fling was awarded second place and $2,000, while the In Touch team received $1,000 for third place. All three groups are automatically eligible to enter the state-wide Governor’s Cup and compete for a share of the $65,000 purse. Business plans for the Governor’s Cup are due March 21.