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Columbia MD, 21044
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Catch the Entrepreneurial Spirit

A capacity crowd was on hand to watch seventeen Howard Community College (HCC) students pitch their innovative business ideas in a judged competition during the college’s December 2, 2015 Entrepreneurial Celebration, sponsored by HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence (CEBE), Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc., Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Howard County Economic Development Authority, and Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship.

In this bi-annual event, select students from HCC’s introductory entrepreneurship and creativity course have five minutes each to present their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurial business professionals.   The judges score the students on quality of presentation, content, and time.  The top scorers receive the Pinnacle Entrepreneur Prize, with an award of $1,800 for first place, and $700 for placing second.  Additionally, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce hosts the top two student winners from both the fall and spring competitions for an entrepreneurial showdown at the Chamber Annual Meeting in May.

Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc., Director of Sales & Marketing John Riina, awarded the following students:

1st place to Kayleigh Harkay for her presentation of PerdidoFido, a multi-functional GPS and vital health tracking collar to keep pets safe and healthy.

2nd place to Sean Parler for his presentation of Ride of Your Life, a web-based business for renting classic and dream cars.

3rd place to Hannah Brandon for her presentation of Club Mixer, a teen-only nightclub for Howard County, offering a safe location to hang out, chill with friends, and dance the night away.

The 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 2015 Entrepreneurial Celebration:   

Kim Merritt Butler, Founder, The;

Warren Citrin, Chief Executive Officer, Fractograf, LLC;

Sean Davidson, Senior Pricing Analyst, Direct Energy Solar;

Max Fashola, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Vintage Clothing Company; and,

Sam Krupsaw, Management Consultant; Former Chief Financial Officer of Under Armour, Inc.

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.

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