MYPN, SNHU kick off Start-Up Challenge

The 20 participants in the New Hampshire Start-Up Challenge, a collaborative business plan competition and entrepreneurial program of the Manchester Young Professionals Network and Southern New Hampshire University, have been selected to compete in a 10-week entrepreneurial boot camp to win one of two business start-up prize packages worth more than $25,000.

Nearly 100 applications were submitted to the competition, which was open to anyone living or working in New Hampshire. After a blind judging process conducted by an outside panel, 20 applicants were chosen for admission into SNHU’s Entrepreneurial Institute. The participants, along with their proposed business name, are:

• Andrew Kamensky (SMART)

• Brian Bienvenue (Organic Pizza Place)

• Christina Campbell (Forever Green)

• David Koble (Community Habitat)

• Diana Holland, Joelle Sarette and Lucretia Joy (Say It Write: a service of Outstanding Marketing Solutions)

• Gary W. Hunter (Street School)

• Grace Jenkins and Judy Jenkins (Patches of Wisdom)

• Ian Muir (Tincanio)

• Jennifer Cheifetz (Sugar Mommy)

• Kathryn Saylor and Roclyn Porter (Turning Leaf Psychological Personnel)

• Kathy Berger (HuePhoria)

• Kelley Muir (Float Left Labs)

• Kristi Barry (Project PEP)

• Lovemore Liberty Dhliwayo (Win-Win Transnational Corporation Ltd.)

• Michael J. Turcotte (Turn Cycle Consult-ing)

• Nicholas Coates and Mark Richardson (Orbial Energy Systems)

• Penny Savage, James Ramanek, Michelle Lauer (TACSA)

• Peter T. Lampesis Jr. (Alternative Fuels and Technologies)

• Stephanie Payeur (Lab Tests Direct)

• Suzanne Brown (Granite Spirit Farms and Forests)

“We’re thrilled with the response and very much looking forward to kicking off the educational component of the program,” said Joe Kenney, MYPN’s Start-Up Challenge chair and vice president of commercial lending at Ocean Bank. “We have an impressive group of inventive and inspiring people who want to become entrepreneurs. Each of them will have access to a high quality program at the Entrepreneurial Institute that will no doubt prepare them for their endeavor.”

The two business plan competition winners – one for a for-profit business plan, the other for a social innovation or socially responsible business plan – will each receive $25,000 and a package of in-kind start-up services, including office space, marketing assistance, legal services and accounting services.

Participants will receive training on a variety of topics, including finance, identifying and analyzing the market, building an organization and team and planning for a profitable business. The mini-boot camp will follow the New Venture FastTrac Course by the Kauffman Foundation, the leading entrepreneurship foundation.

Local business owner Bernie Sparks will facilitate the program and SNHU professor Keith Moon will serve as a coach and mentor throughout the program. Other SNHU faculty, along with executives and company leaders, will participate in the program, sharing both theory and application of successfully starting and running a company.

The Entrepreneurial Institute program will begin Jan. 24 and be completed March 28. By April 25, members of the inaugural class will be required to submit their comprehensive business plans for final judging. The competition’s advisory board will choose two winners, announcing the selection in early May.