Student entrepreneurs compete for startup funds during Wright Venture

Christine Moser, an entrepreneurship major, and her business WrinkleFrinkle LLC, which creates handmade items, won Wright Venture in April. (Photo courtesy of the Wright State Guardian)

Christine Moser, an entrepreneurship major at Wright State University, won Wright Venture for WrinkleFrinkle LLC, which creates handmade items including wood-burned functional house decorations and metal stamped jewelry and keychains.

Wright Venture, the annual competition hosted by the Raj Soin College of Business, was held on April 7 in Rike Hall.

Wright Venture is an entrepreneurial competition modeled after the reality TV series “Shark Tank.”

Five student entrepreneurs presented their business ideas to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs called Wolves. The winner of the competition will receive $5,000 in startup funding.

Students in the Raj Soin College of Business; College of Health, Education and Human Services; and College of Engineering and Computer Science participated in this year’s competition.

The other student business projects that participated in Wright Venture were Fully Loved and Free, which sells clothing that spreads love and positivity; Next Generation Consulting LLC, which helps young entrepreneurs with business filings, taxes and growth strategies; Cecilia, a website that helps musicians find top-rated local music instructors in their area; and Cherries, a clothing brand featuring designs, photography, marketing plans and more produced by college students.

The goal of Wright Venture is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and action among students by providing instructions for starting a business and helping students bring their idea to life. It also gives students an opportunity to put into practice the lessons they received in the classroom.

Wright Venture judges were, from left, Marty Grunder, William Schumacher, Lesley Ott and Jonah Sandler. (Photo courtesy of the Wright State Guardian)

The competition creates an experience similar to an actual business startup, including networking, mentorship, creative idea development, product design, service creation, financial management, business planning and marketing assistance.

Students spent much of Spring Semester preparing their presentations for the finals by participating in a series of entrepreneurial workshops, led by Wright State faculty and local experts, on business planning, finance, marketing and business operations.

The Wolves who volunteered to judge this year’s competition were: Marty Grunder, president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and vice chair of the Wright State Board of Trustees; Lesley Ott, chief operating officer and chief compliance officer of James Investment Research and James Advantage Funds; Jonah Sandler, founder chief entertainment officer of Scene75; and William Schumacher, founder & CEO of Uprising Food.

Students participating in Wright Venture are not the only ones who could benefit from the April 7 finals. Students who are curious about entrepreneurship were encouraged to attend the event to find inspiration and learn about how to open a business or develop a new product.

Past Wright Venture winners include Galatune, a strategy card game, and Tumble, an on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service.

Funding for the Wright Venture program is provided by the James Family Entrepreneurship Program and Scene75. Wright Venture is organized by the Department of Marketing in the Raj Soin College of Business and the Entrepreneurship Club.

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