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HomeEducationAustin Peay State University Entrepreneurship Challenge awards $15,000 to students

Austin Peay State University Entrepreneurship Challenge awards $15,000 to students

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) College of Business hosted the first-ever 15K Entrepreneurship Challenge on November 15th.

The event encouraged student teams to display their creativity and teamwork by presenting viable business solutions to problems within their communities. 

After completing a preliminary round of judging, six student teams advanced to the live competition on campus.


The winning teams include:

  • Gold ($9,000 and a one-year lease at The Press, courtesy of The Press and the Students’ Choice Award) – Zaid Malik and Stewart Black pitched the Northshore Clarksville Bike Shop, a business that will provide Clarksville with all its biking needs including bikes, accessories, rentals and maintenance. The business also plans to host events to engage the community, while also highlighting trails around Clarksville.
  • Silver ($4,000) – Students Drew McIllwain, Kyle Nunn and Jonah Beamon pitched SmartPark, an app that provides efficient parking solutions for campus. The app allows users to preselect a destination and then provides them with the best parking options based on that location.
  • Bronze ($2,000) – Students McKenna Jurmu and Marleigh Heggie pitched Ruff Riders, a local neighborhood service that provides enrichment to family pets while their owners are away, including walks and trips to the dog park at competitive rates.

The challenge has been a dream of Management Professor Dr. John Volker for many years. “What excites me the most about the 15K Entrepreneurship Challenge is that it demonstrates the creativity and imagination of students at APSU,” Volker said. “Students from all disciplines are demonstrating the best of the university experience and the application of critical thinking to real problems that can be solved by free enterprise.”

The event was made possible by a generous donation from Joe and Cathi Maynard, who established a fund of excellence last year to champion student success initiatives across campus. The University recently honored the couple for their years of support – including their pledge of $15 million to the APSU athletics department, representing the largest gift in University history – by naming an area of campus as the Joe and Cathi Maynard Family Athletics Complex. 

The Maynards are also successful entrepreneurs who have launched several businesses, including the Top Fuel NHRA Maynard Family Racing Team, CraftPoint Concepts custom millwork and the Trio Hospitality Group.
 
“I am thrilled that the 15K Entrepreneurship Challenge inspired so much interest among our students and fostered dreams of new companies, new products and new ways of doing business,” Dr. Mickey Hepner, dean of the College of Business, said. “We are grateful for Joe and Cathi Maynard, The Press and our judges, who have all been incredible supporters of our aspiring entrepreneurs as this competition is expanding the universe of what our students see as possible.”
 
For more information about the 15K Entrepreneurship Challenge, contact Elaina Russell at russelle@apsu.edu.

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