The 2016 Wells College Entrepreneurship Week and Be Your Own Boss Business Idea Competition was a riveting experience for the students registering, competing, and voting. After a week of planning and mentoring and an inspiring keynote address by entrepreneur Leila Janah, the competition took place in Stratton Hall—and within minutes students excitedly filled up the lecture hall.
After long deliberation and preliminary presentations, the judges had narrowed the field from the 35 teams that registered to six semi-finalists. These teams gave short presentations of their ideas and plans for potential implementation. They were:
Judging took into account the quality of the presentation, potential effectiveness of the idea, and the work that participants had put into researching and modifying their ideas. This year's judges were no strangers to the entrepreneurial world or to Wells. They included Keegan Evans '15, an entrepreneur for seven years and previous "Be Your Own Boss!" competitor; Jennifer Pelton '92, Director of Development at the Public Justice Center in Baltimore; John Gardner, photographer, entrepreneur, real estate developer, and consultant; and Kevin Miles, director of the Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship. The audience for the evening took a role in the judging process, voting for the best presentation before the winners were determined.
Raffle tickets were given at the door and announced between presentations. Winning students and faculty were awarded prizes that varied from gift cards to a laptop.