Columbia College offers students an entrepreneurial jump start

Posted on 11 October 2018 at 6:15pm

COLUMBIA - Columbia College will host an entrepreneurship showcase Friday where five students will present business pitches to a panel of judges.  

Columbia College's Steven and Barbara Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship puts on the showcase. 

Some of the business ventures students will present are a graphics production company, a women's apparel line, social awareness organizations and specialty food trucks.

Students are competing for a $5,000 grand prize to help them jump start their business. 

Sydney Marsden is a senior, and has applied for the showcase every year since she was a sophomore. This year, she was finally selected to present her business idea that was spurred from a night out with friends who were tired of the same late- night dessert choices.

"When we thought of Cakes For Days, we were like, well, what if we just had a food truck that was open at night that just served things that weren't cookies and ice cream?" Marsden said. 

Students selected for the competition were paired with coaches with marketing, entrepreneurial and financial backgrounds to guide their business ventures. 

The competition has previously taken place in the spring. Becky Bocklage is the organizer for this year's showcase, and said she decided to move the the final competition to the fall so students would have the summer to work with their coaches on the projects.

"There's a lot of just thinking about things, mulling it over." said Bocklage. "I wanted to give them time to really prepare their idea and use that coach support to make the best pitch that they could."

Marsden said she is a little nervous about presenting but is looking forward to the feedback she will get from the community and judges. 

While the grand prize is $5,000, students that take second and third will win $3,000 and $1,000 respectively, to put toward their future businesses. 

The pitch meetings are free and open to the public. The showcase starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Brixby Lecture Hall at Columbia College on Friday.