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The Pinnacle Entrepreneur Prize Awarded at HCC's Fall Entrepreneurial Celebration

Columbia, MD – The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall (RCF) at Howard Community College (HCC) was buzzing with excitement December 5, 2017, as thirteen students pitched their innovative business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurial business professionals at the Fall Entrepreneurial Celebration. The bi-annual event is sponsored by HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence (CEBE), Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc., and Howard County Chamber of Commerce.

At the event, select students from HCC’s introductory entrepreneurship and creativity course have five minutes each to present their business ideas to the panel. Students are scored on the quality of their presentation, content, and time. The Pinnacle Entrepreneur Prize is presented to the top scorers, with an award of $1,800 for first place, and $700 for placing second. The CEBE awards a cash prize to the third place winner and People’s Choice.

In addition, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce hosts the top two student winners from both the fall and spring events for an entrepreneurial showdown at an evening event in late May 2018.

HCC President Dr. Kate Hetherington awarded the following students:

1st place to Lacey Carpenter for her presentation of Rosiieecheekz Cosmetics, a brand designed to break gender stereotypes and create a safe, friendly community for makeup lovers.

2nd place to Lashay Howard for her presentation of Aston Bands, customized hair bows and bow ties that offer unique designs appealing to young adults.

3rd place to Azmain Faeque for his presentation of The Smart Mug, the world’s first mug that allows the user to set and maintain temperature control, as well as identify the health benefits of the beverage.

People’s Choice was awarded to Nathan Raifsnider for his presentation of The HoCoLocal Foundation, a one-stop internet destination and homepage for Howard County community members.

Pinnacle Pitch judges are selected for their proven business acumen and entrepreneurial experience, and the CEBE gratefully acknowledges the volunteer services and contributions of the following five judges to the Fall 2017 Entrepreneurial Celebration:

Michael Hassett, owner, Sports Clips Haircuts;

Stephen P. Kauffman, Esq., senior partner, Skeens & Kauffman, L.L.P.;

Donovan Peterson, HCC alumni and entrepreneurial fellow at the University of Baltimore;

Michael Rosenberg, business coach, Howard Community College;

Michelle Sokta, accounting department chairperson, Howard Community College.

The Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence (CEBE) helps aspiring and existing business owners and students develop themselves and their businesses by utilizing the Center’s programs, services, and resources, including degree and certificate programs in entrepreneurship, and individualized coaching programs to guide aspiring entrepreneurs from assessment through business launch. Visit or call 443-518-1520 for more information.

For information on how to apply and register for classes at Howard Community College, visit Winter 2018 classes start January 2. Spring classes begin on January 27. 

Topics: Career Focus
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