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Columbia MD, 21044
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The Pinnacle Entrepreneur Prize awarded in Howard Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Spring 2016 Celebration

Entrepreneurial student presents at Entrepreneurial Celebration

Columbia, MD – A capacity crowd was on hand to watch ten Howard Community College (HCC) students pitch their innovative business ideas in a judged competition during the college’s May 3, 2016 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 on May 19, 2016.

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

1st place to Matthew Jung for his presentation of Comicloud, a free iPhone application for reading and publishing interactive comic books.

2nd place to James Gerst for his presentation of The Best Request, a graphic merchandising service that helps customers work one-on-one with artists to bring their ideas to life. 

3rd place to Alicia Holliday for her presentation Open Chair, a service for clients and beauticians to schedule appointments and locations.

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 Spring 2016 Entrepreneurial Celebration:  

Peter Ettinger, executive director, Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship;

Stacie Hunt, chief executive officer, Leadership Howard County;

Emily Kim, founder, Uma Uma Restaurant;

Athar Rafiq, cyber lab services manager, Howard Community College; and

Beth Woodring, fund manager, Howard County Economic Development Authority.

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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