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Howard Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Spring 2023 Celebration

Rocket Pitch

Columbia, MD – Thirteen of Howard Community College’s (HCC) entrepreneurial program students pitched their innovative business ideas to a panel of business professionals at the Spring “Rocket Pitch” Entrepreneurial Celebration, held in the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall (RCF) on May 11, 2023. The event is sponsored by HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence (CEBE) and the Columbia Patuxent Rotary Club. 

During the event, top students from HCC’s four introductory entrepreneurship and creative course classes have five minutes to present their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurial professionals. Scores are based on presentation, content, and time. The Rotary Rocket Pitch Prize is presented to the top four scorers, with an award of $1,800 for first prize, $1,400 for second place, $1,000 for third place and $800 for fourth place.  The CEBE and the Joss Family awards a cash prize to the People’s Choice, chosen by the audience. 

HCC President Daria J. Willis awarded the following students: 

1st place to Cierrah Dixon-Styles for her business, Natural Obsession, which provides reliable, sturdy, battery-operated facial steamers. 

2nd place to Maya Narmouq for her business, Actually Wholesome, which offers heart-healthy foods at an affordable price. 

3rd place to Xander Tralins for his business, 4All Neighborhood Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures and distributes generic prescription drugs while providing jobs and healthcare to low-income communities without corporate exploitation. 

4th place to Joshua Wallace for his business, global Salvage, which partners with nonprofits to tackle ocean trash. 

People’s Choice was awarded to Jackson French for his business, Ink n’ Drink, which encourages community connections among Baltimore City artists. 

In 2023, the Betty Noble award was created by Howard Community College’s Educational Foundation in honor of Betty’s contribution to and passion for the Entrepreneurial program and its students. This award is bestowed upon students who most embody Betty’s attributes and characteristics. The Betty Noble award winner was Zahrah Siddiqui, and the runner up was Austin Sweat

Rotary Rocket Pitch judges are selected for their proven business and entrepreneurial experience, and the CEBE gratefully acknowledges the volunteer services and contributions of the following judges to the 2023 Entrepreneurial Celebration: 

Askash Bhalani, owner of Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts; 

Dave Dobbs, president of Baltimore Information Group; 

Kathy Joss, owner of Vertical Connection/Carpet One; 

Kashonna Marrow, president and CEO of Simply Kashonna; 

Robin Thomas, senior vice president, Truist Wealth. 

The Center for Entrepreneurial and 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. 

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