Awards help fund student business plans


First Place

Logan Chernicky (second from right) wins first place and is awarded $10,000 for his business that allows construction managers to keep track of their projects.

Shippensburg University hosted the seventh annual Student Business Plan Competition Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening in the Tuscarora Room at Reisner Dining Hall. 

The winner of the $10,000 first-place prize was Clarion University senior Logan Chernicky, with his business “Enhanced Visual.” “Enhanced Visual” is a system that allows construction site managers and engineers to compare actual progress on their projects with pre-work projections to help keep them “on track and under budget.”

Second place went to East Stroudsburg University (ESU) senior Amanda Layden with her “Organtick,” all-natural tick repellent with sunscreen protection. Layden was awarded $5,000 for her business.

Zachary Waldman and Nick Neely, also students at ESU, received the $2,500 third place prize for their development of “Falchion Systems,” a cybersecurity company that is designed to help companies secure their computer networks.

The annual Business Plan Competition is designed to give students and future entrepreneurs a real-world opportunity to pitch their own business plans, and to win funds to assist in the creation and further development of their businesses. 

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A reception that included dinner was held before the awards. Students from PASSHE schools came to the awards to present their business plans. Jonathan Burton represented SU and was a finalist with “Awakened Wellness.”

All students at universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) are invited to participate in the yearly competition. 

This year’s competition drew about 199 students and student teams.

PASSHE Interim Chancellor Karen M. Whitney commended the participants efforts. 

“Talk about student success; just look around this room tonight. Each year, this competition brings out the best in our students. I’m confident that trend will continue. This isn’t the last you’ll see or hear from this group of budding entrepreneurs,” she said.

Before the winners were announced, previous award winners gave testimonies of how the competition impacted their businesses and lives.

Bri Nellis, last year’s second place winner, shared what this past year has been like for her. Nellis shared her experiences as a photographer with Clarion University, Spark Designs and with the “Legends of Pittsburgh” cruise.

“This competition has completely fast-forwarded my business and given me so many new opportunities,” she said.

SU was represented in this year’s competition by Jonathan Burton, who was a finalist in the competition with “Awakened Wellness.” His business would offer massage therapy, floatation therapy and mindfulness meditation.

Also representing SU in the competition was Jeffrey Dillon, with “Brew Crew Labs,” a business that would provide first-time professional brewers with materials without a major risk.

The Student Business Plan Competition is sponsored by PASSHE.


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