The third annual competition hosted by the Scott Army Center for Entrepreneurship featured student pitchers and alumni speakers vying for prizes and networking opportunities. On Monday January 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m., pioneering students with ideas for new products and original businesses pitched their ideas to an audience and panel of professionals from the Saint John's High School community. Judges Brian Darling ’84
, Rob Giacchetti ’87
, Ed Hardy ’03
, Ann Manion P’13,’16,’20
, and Joe Vignaly P’09
represent a wide array of experience across industries and engaged with students on their business ideas. The top plans - selected from a judges' vote and popular audience vote - received cash prizes from the Scott Army '01 Center for Entrepreneurship to get their projects going.
The 2017 participants and their plans were:
- Dawson Ritchie '17 Bow to Stern
- Ryan Malone '17 Fantasy High
- John Henry Hendley '17 Super Shakes
- Dillon Benison '17 Easy Park App
- Kevin Sweeney '17 Wachusett Bike Park
- Calvin Corrigan '20 My Ties
An audience vote named Calvin Corrigan's custom handmade wooden bowtie product "Best Pitch" and Dawson Ritchie's boat cleaning Bow to Stern service was selected by the judges' plan analysis and discussion as 2017's "Best Business Plan."
Alumnus Daniel Kenary '78
, who is a founder and CEO of Harpoon Brewery, offered the 2017 keynote address "Lessons Learned in the Brewhouse" and stuck around after the competition to share some of his favorite products with his fellow Pioneers. He shared some of his favorite lessons from his journey at Harpoon, reflecting on the values that have been a guiding force in his business. These "Worcester values" instilled in him by his family he sees echoed in the "Saint John's values" that formed him and influence how he runs his company, from the brewhouse to the board of directors. "This school elevates character and values to the highest level," he reflected, and Saint John's men learn "to contribute to the well-being of others" - a powerful tool when making decisions for an entire company.
This event was be held in the Robert R. Jay Performing Arts Center in Founders Hall and streamed online for the community. Couldn't make it? Check out the livestream here
Through the Entrepreneurial Studies course and Entrepreneurship Club, students and alumni are coming together to share ideas. Scott Army, a 2001 graduate, collaborated with his alma mater with the hopes of expanding the growing entrepreneurial spirit in students. The first Business Plan Competition was held in the spring of 2015, and 2017 marks the third annual event of its kind at Saint John's.
"Entrepreneurship, I believe, at its heart, is about empowerment of the individual to go out and to make a difference in the world. It is about opportunity, risk, possibility, innovation, and progress... It can be grand or small, white collar or blue collar. Entrepreneurship can, of course, be economic, but it can also be social, political, or simply about a new way of thinking. It is so much more than just that tech startup you read about in the paper... There are entrepreneurs all around us, starting small businesses or volunteer groups every day.” - Scott Army '01