Left to right: Marshawn Kelley, Kristen Tunno-Mullins, Trenton Holcomb, Delaney Lohr, Avalon Green, Jonathan Williams, Leslie Mason, Marcus Kelley, and Dr. Mark Sarver. Photo by J. Alex Wilson

Glenville State University students earn over $15,000 in business investments

GLENVILLE, W.Va. – Glenville State University student Avalon Green recently competed in the WV Business Plan Competition hosted by the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the West Virginia University John Chamber College of Business and Economics. She walked away with $15,000 to help launch her business.

Green, who is working to launch a line of performance golf apparel for women under the moniker Avalon Green Apparel, was presented $10,000 in prize money as part of the competition. Additionally, 3 Steps to Startup also awarded her with an additional $5,000 during the awards ceremony.

“I sat down and thought, what does the woman golfer want? What do I want? So, then I built the design from my needs and the needs of other female golfers who I’ve known because fashion has always been constricting women…especially female athletes. Active women need functional fashion, but also fashion that feels and looks good. I saw the need and decided I was going to fix it. I said to myself, I am going to solve this problem and give women something they deserve,” Green said. “The best part is when I meet other girls and they see the designs and they say, oh my gosh…this is it.”

“From the moment Avalon walked into my office wearing a prototype of her clothing line, she dedicated herself to not only winning the competition but absorbing so much new knowledge and input from everyone who assisted her. She synthesized that into a winning business plan and “Shark Tank” style pitch,” said Dr. Mark Sarver. He serves as an Associate Professor of Business at Glenville State University and coached the Glenville State students in both competitions.

Glenville State also had four students compete in the WV Innovation and Business Model Competition that was held at Marshall University. Marcus Kelley, Marshawn Kelley, Trenton Holcomb, and Jonathan Williams were awarded $1,000 and a third-place position in the competition. Their concept, the SCup, is a new venture that aims to address safety and security in public settings. The SCup is a restaurant-style beverage container with a lid that uses processors and circuits to notify the owner when the lid is removed without authorization, helping prevent the owner from ingesting doped or poisoned drinks.

The four students also made a presentation at the WV Business Plan Competition for the SCup and were awarded an additional $750 from the Robert E. Yancey, Sr. Entrepreneurship Endowment via the Marshall University Foundation.

Marcus Kelley is a senior on track to graduate in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science with a Criminal Justice minor. Marshawn Kelley is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Sport Management with a minor in psychology. Holcomb is a freshman seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Field Forensics. Williams is a freshman seeking a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a minor in management.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of these students. Avalon has an unmatched passion for her startup and that shows through in all aspects of her business plan…her pitch video is top-notch, her presentation is heartfelt, and her idea is solid. The four gentlemen who are conceptualizing the SCup device are working to bring an innovative product to market. I have watched all of these students refine their ideas, utilizing not only what they are learning here at Glenville State University, but also incorporating feedback from Dr. Sarver and those they have been networking with. I look forward to seeing where they take these ideas,” said Glenville State University President, Dr. Mark A. Manchin.

Seven teams from various colleges and universities in West Virginia competed for the $42,500 in prize money as part of the WV Business Plan Competition.

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