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Rotary Rocket Pitch Prize Awarded at HCC’s Fall Entrepreneurial Celebration

Entrepreneurial celebration fall 2019

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 Fall Entrepreneurial Celebration, held in the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall (RCF) on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. The bi-annual event is sponsored by HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence (CEBE), the Columbia Patuxent Rotary Club, and the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.

During the event, top students from HCC’s seven 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 two scorers, with an award of $1,800 for first prize, and $700 for placing second. The CEBE awards a cash prize to the third place winner and the People’s Choice, chosen by the audience.

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce hosts the top two student winners from the fall and spring events for a Young Professionals Networking event each spring.

HCC President Kate Hetherington awarded the following students:

1st place to Thomas Myers for his business, Full House, an online service that connects college students who need low-cost housing with local home owners who, in return for assistance around the house, are willing to host students.

2nd place to Julia Leishear for her business, Launder, a laundry service targeted to students. Launder will pick up, launder, and return clothes for a reasonable fee.

3rd place to Matt Zielinski for his business, NBM Fitness. The business will assist clients individually in finding a fitness plan that will be successful for them.

People’s Choice was awarded to Rachel Wallace for her business, ConnectChef, an online meal service that connects chefs with the public to deliver home-cooked meals right to your door.

Rotary Rocket 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 judges to the Fall 2019 Celebration:

Liam Garrett, former HCC student and founder of Digital Art Movement;

Linda Hutchison, patent attorney, Hutchison Law, LLC, and HCC adjunct faculty;

Dr. Mary Pieprzak, senior partner, Mid-Atlantic Nephrology;

Pablo Troncoso, business strategy consultant;

Tariq Zaman, president, Deetar Consulting.

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 2020 classes start January 2. Spring classes begin on January 29.

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Topics: Career Focus
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