Winners of Wells' Entrepreneurship Week Announced

04-19-12 - Students’ dedication demonstrated as they earned recognition from guests and judges.

Wells College is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Entrepreneurship Week student contest, arranged and coordinated by Robert Ellis, director of the College’s Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship. The judges awarded a total of $4,500 in prize money to first- and second-place teams in two categories. Prizes in the Social Entrepreneurship category (not-for-profit) went to:

First place: “Next Stepping Stone,” which aimed to provide volunteers for assisted living facilities, presented by Chris Guard ’12, philosophy, Youngstown, N.Y. and Mitch Moulton ’12, sociology, Sheffield, Mass.
Second place: “Empowering Yourself,” a plan to help people become more politically engaged, presented by Sara Spezzano ’12, political science, Mumford, N.Y. and Alanna Verderber ’12, environmental science, Sharon Springs, N.Y.

In Business Entrepreneurship (for-profit), prizes went to:

First Place: “Flushies” flushable diapers, presented by Colin Evans ’12, environmental science, Owego, N.Y. and Alex Riad ’12, creative writing/performing arts, Campbell, Calif.
Second Place: Tie between “Bring on the Heat” thermal gloves, presented by Julie Kang ’13, biology, Willits, Calif.; Emily Mulkerne ’12, psychology, Whitesboro, N.Y.; Brenna Toomey ’13, political science, Westerly, R.I.; Olive Touron ’15, undeclared, Cato, N.Y.; and Brynn Wilkinson ’13, psychology, Goodlettsville, Tenn. and “Moviepalooza” community theater, presented by Jessica Alicea ’14, psychology, Salisbury Mills, N.Y. and Melissa Fortin ’14, psychology, Alton, N.H.

Participants in this year’s Entrepreneurship Week, coordinated by the Susan Wray Sullivan ’51 and Pike H. Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship, started with an idea for a new original venture and spent many hours taking feedback, expanding, refining, rewriting and perfecting their ideas as much as possible in preparation. Working with guest coaches Jim Quest of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, CEO of Mezmeriz Brad Treat, and CEO of MiTeGen Rob Newman, the eight teams worked out their ideas and planned their presentation.

Members of the College community then gathered at the end of the week to hear each team present their plan and attend a special talk by Julie Shimer, the CEO of Welch Allyn and founder of Blue Highway, LLC, who also served as a judge for the day. Wells College Provost and Dean Cindy Speaker and David Binns, CEO of Aurora Shoe Company, also served on the judging panel. These presentations marked the end of Wells’ Entrepreneurship Week for this year, but some of the students may be taking opportunities through other connections and sources to pursue actual funding to get their projects off the ground.

Robert Ellis, director of the Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship and lecturer in management, coordinated the week’s events. The contest winners were awarded $1,500 for first place and $500 for second place. The awards given through Entrepreneurship Week were made possible, in part, by a gift in memory of Louise Bingham Hatch, Wells College Class of ’38, from her family.



For information, contact David Foote, 315.364.3460, or email