Penn State Altoona held its spring and fall 2016 Business, Engineering, and Information Sciences and Technology Student Showcase events in which students from various disciplines showcased their work through presentations to the college and local businesses. The showcase is an opportunity for the Blair County business community to see firsthand the work and talent of students while allowing them to build their communication and networking skills.
Students from the Electro-Mechanical Engineering program presented and demonstrated their senior projects, while those studying business presented on their internship opportunities. Students in the Security and Risk Analysis program presented on their internships and capstone projects, and students in the Rail Transportation Engineering program also offered presentations in the spring.
Six students were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society during the spring event: Kelly L. Bennett; James William Edwards Jr.; Kylee Korin Flaugh; Jesse J. Ickes; Brennan Joseph Luciano; and Chelsea Renee Rice. Eligibility for Sigma Beta Delta is offered to those students in the top 20 percent of the undergraduate business program and who reflect the society’s high standards of academic excellence.
The winners of the Pechter Business Plan competition 2015-16 were announced at the spring showcase. The competition, established by Penn State Altoona benefactor Shirley Pechter, consists of a four-phase process in which any Penn State Altoona student can take ideas from concept through a feasibility study/market analysis to a full business plan. Local business leaders judged the competition, basing their evaluations on the feasibility of the proposed businesses, the business overviews, and presentations. Brandon Murray and Jason Kanowitz won first place and $5,000 for their business venture, Tile Curver. Justin Merrell took second place and $2,500 for Recursion, while Jacob Byers, Christopher Ryba, and Nick Sherlock won third place and $1,000. All of the winners were space in Enactus’s Business Advisory Board Business Incubator located at the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence to work on their businesses, along with legal and accounting services, and mentor and strategy services.
During the fall showcase, five teams of students were selected to move forward in the 2016-17 competition. These students will work on their plans in the business incubator creating detailed descriptions of their business concepts, potential market, and likely competitors. Students moving on are: Dominic Pezzotti, Tom Leary, and Ben Shetler with their idea Bark; Kevin Whalen and Mike Komorowski with Keystone Media Network; Luke Hallman and Jason Kanowitz with Professional Supplies Hub; Nicholas Unis with UnisBrands LLC; and Nikolas Anderson and Gregory Richards with Loa. Winners of the competition will be announced during the spring 2017 Student Showcase.
Each showcase was made possible thanks to support from the Donald and Nancy Devorris Entrepreneurship Program Endowment, as well as a partnership with the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, and the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation.