KSU architecture major wins Business Concepts Competition, moves on to regional

Leighann McGivern

The Center for Entrepreneurship hosted its 4th annual Business Concepts Competition Wednesday evening in the John S. Brinzo Entrepreneurial Lab.

Andrew Johnson, senior architecture major, took home the first prize of $1,300 for his business idea, “Architemps,” a temporary staffing company in architecture and interior design. Johnson will continue on to the regional competition at the University of Akron on March 31.

“Prior to this, it was just an idea,” Johnson said. “The competition just basically gave me an excuse to finish.”

Johnson said he plans to use his money to purchase a domain name for his company and pay for LLC registration.

“Some of it will go to actually starting a business,” Johnson said. “And I need a new laptop, so the rest of it will be going to a laptop.”

Haley Kilar, freshman pre-marketing major, and Tara Bresette, sophomore pre-business management major, were awarded the first runners-up prize of $500 for their business plan, “Brella Box,” a Redbox-style umbrella rental service.

“We both hate the rain, and we noticed that at Kent, it rains a lot,” Bresette said. “I forget (my umbrella) all the time.”

Kilar said she and Bresette, who are roommates and both in their second semesters at Kent State, came up with the idea in an entrepreneurship class.

“It’s like ‘That’s So Raven’ when she just has a vision, and that’s what it was like for me,” Kilar said.

Kilar and Bresette said they were proud to have placed so well against their older and more experienced competitors.

“We were the only people who didn’t have a web base, we were the only girls and we’re (first-year Kent State students),” Kilar said.

The roommates said they plan on spending all of their money.

“I’m going to New York next week, so I’m going to go spend it,” Bresette said. “College has made me poor. I’m going to go live it big for a little.”

The winners of the competition were chosen out of a group of five finalists and were judged by a group of local entrepreneurs and investors.

Julie Messing, marketing lecturer, said the competition is a good opportunity for students to network with local professionals.

“They’re building connections that can help them in the future,” Messing said. “As the judges are meeting these students, they’re meeting people who they could potentially want to hire some day or may want to invest in.”

Contact Leighann McGivern at [email protected] .