Stephanie Goldenberg of the AACC Entrepreneurial Studies Institute counsels students at the Arnold campus. The ESI is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. (AACC photo)

The Entrepreneurial Studies Institute at Anne Arundel Community College awarded student business owner Peter Papanicolaou $25,000 to invest in his business, Unity Electric, during its recent annual Business Pitch Competition. The other seven finalists received amounts between $1,000 and $20,000 for their businesses.

The awards:
● $25,000 to Unity Electric, presented by Peter Papanicolaou
● $20,000 to Mogel’s Amusements, presented by McLain Mogel
● $18,000 to Save the Day Escape Rooms, presented by Sandie Horne
● $5,000 to Dumpstars of Maryland, presented by Zachary Waller
● $3,000 to Soundglide, presented by David Pollak
● $2,000 to Cocoa & Pearl Bakery, presented by Hannah Gribbin
● $1,000 to FreshLeap Coaching and Consulting, presented by Chris DeGuzman
● $1,000 to Mindful Movements, presented by Daniel Levy, Jacob Rosenblatt and Jacob Rosenbloom

“It is an honor to celebrate ESI’s 20th anniversary. I have seen our students start businesses, continue their education and entrepreneurial journeys and return to AACC as coaches, judges and mentors.” said ESI Academic Chair and Associate Professor Stephanie Goldenberg. “We have built an entrepreneurial community where our students and alumni connect and support one another.”

The competition is run similar to the NBC-TV show, Shark Tank. The finalists provided business plans and financial projections, then gave a two-minute live pitch and addressed questions from a panel of judges during the event.

Judges included two local business leaders, a representative from SCORE and a representative from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. The Foundation provided the funds to make the competition possible. For more information, visit or contact Goldenberg at 410-777-1265.