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UNCW Cameron School of Business Names Winner in Annual Business Plan Competition

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The UNCW Cameron School of Business announces recent graduate Robert Baratta '15 as the winner of its annual business plan competition.

In its ninth year, the event allows students to gain practical experience beyond the classroom by doing a comprehensive business analysis as a cumulative experience for their major in entrepreneurship and business development. Forty seniors in the program developed and presented comprehensive business plans. In addition to Baratta, Olivia Cappelletti, Michael Clounie and Kelly Rawers were invited to present their plans.

The competition is one of the ways the Cameron School of Business provides students with the skills to identify and capitalize on business opportunities. Previous finalists have started their own ventures and some are working in emerging ventures such as nCino, and one past winner is now working in a business incubator in New Zealand.

“Students are asked to do extensive research and take their work to the next level by developing plans that can be operationalized,” said Stephen Harper, Progress Energy/Betty Cameron Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at UNCW. “This is a unique opportunity that showcases our students’ mental dexterity to veteran entrepreneurs who served as judges.”

Baratta will receive a $1,500 cash prize as well as accounting, legal, marketing and management advice services from many of the sponsors. Each of the other finalists will receive a $1,100 cash prize.

tekMountain at Castle Branch was the master sponsor of the competition. Other sponsors included McGladrey LLP, Ward & Smith, SpecialtySoft, Meridien Marketing, Blu Zeus Interactive Marketing, The Beck Foundation and South Coast Investments. Tobin Geatz of Seahawk Innovation, Joe Finley of tekMountain at Castle Branch, Jeannette King of SpecialtySoft, and Justin Queen of Blu Zeus served as the judges. Paul Baron of Seahawk Innovation and Wells Struble of Cloudwyze were the presentation coaches.

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