A large crowd was on hand to watch 12 Howard Community College (HCC) students pitch their innovative business ideas in a judged competition during the college’s May 2 Entrepreneurial Celebration, sponsored by HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence (CEBE), Pinnacle Advisory Group, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC), the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEAD) and the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE).

In this bi-annual event, select students from HCC’s introductory entrepreneurship and creativity course have five minutes each to present their business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurial business professionals. The judges score the students on quality of presentation, content and time. The top scorers receive the Pinnacle Entrepreneur Prize, with an award of $1,800 for first place, and $700 for placing second. The CEBE awards the third place winner and the People’s Choice with a cash prize.

Additionally, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce hosts the top two student winners from both the fall and spring competitions for an entrepreneurial showdown at the Chamber Annual Meeting on May 18.
Pinnacle Director of Sales & Marketing John Riina, awarded the following students.

• First Place and People’s Choice awards: Thomas Harsham, for his presentation of FlashServe, a platform to ensure the ultimate public dining experience.

• Second Place: Megan Whalen for her presentation of Kai, a business that will harness wave currents to produce energy.

• Third Place: Brandon Banh for his presentation of Powerswap, a device that allows users to share power between mobile devices for ease in charging.
The Pinnacle Pitch judges are selected for their proven business acumen and entrepreneurial experience; also, the CEBE acknowledges the volunteer services and contributions of the following five judges to the spring 2017 Entrepreneurial Celebration.

Aaron Altscher, CEO, Handteq

Paige Donahue, Ratcliffe Entrepreneurship Fellow, University of Baltimore
Paul Hogan, computer science faculty, Howard Community College
Tracy Turner, director, Howard Tech Council/HCEDA
Sharon Brackett, CEO, Tiresias Technologies

The CEBE helps aspiring and existing business owners, and students, to develop themselves and their businesses by utilizing the Center’s programs, services and resources, including degree and certificate programs in entrepreneurship, and individualized coaching programs. Visit howardcc.edu/CEBE or call 443-518-1520 for more information.