HPU Students Win Thousands in Startup Funds at Business Plan Competition

High Point University students earned thousands of dollars in startup funds for their businesses during HPU’s 2023 Business Plan Competition on April 12. Pictured from left are Jake Lagana, Savannah Smith, Reeve Fatuova, Erin Morrow and Quentin Barrial, with oversized checks representing the amount of startup funds they received.

HIGH POINT, NC, April 17, 2023 – High Point University students earned thousands of dollars in startup funds for their businesses during HPU’s 2023 Business Plan Competition on April 12. The annual competition is supported by Truist Financial Corporation and the Steve Bell Family Life Skills Endowment.

During the competition, five finalists competed for a total of $30,000 in startup funds for their businesses by presenting to a panel of business leaders, who served as competition judges.

Quentin Barrial, a junior Business Administration major and minor entrepreneurship from Atlanta, Georgia, won first place and $12,000 for his product, QuickTag. QuickTag is a new generation of lost and found labels featuring a customized QR code that can be placed on any item an owner wants to label. If an item is misplaced, the finder can simply scan the code with their cellphone to get in touch with the owner via an anonymous messaging platform. The finder can send a message, place a pin on a map or notify the owner of the item’s location through a photo. Because no personal contact information is shared, the privacy is protected for both the owner and finder.

Quentin Barrial, a junior Business Administration major and minor entrepreneurship from Atlanta, Georgia, won first place and $12,000 for his product, QuickTag.  QuickTag is a new generation of lost and found labels featuring a customized QR code that can be placed on any item an owner wants to label.
Quentin Barrial, a junior Business Administration major and minor entrepreneurship from Atlanta, Georgia, won first place and $12,000 for his product, QuickTag. QuickTag is a new generation of lost and found labels featuring a customized QR code that can be placed on any item an owner wants to label.

“Winning symbolizes a successful nine months of uncertain decisions and trips back to the drawing board,” said Barrial. “QuickTag has received international attention and a growing audience ever since its first public appearance. We are delighted to know that many are tagging along with our mission to reinvent lost and found.”

Second place and $8,000 was awarded to Erin Morrow, a junior education major from Windham, New Hampshire, for Rossom Robotsthe first gesture-controlled robot arm kit which she designed for educators seeking to introduce advanced technologies to their classrooms.

Second place and $8,000 was awarded to Erin Morrow, a junior education major from Windham, New Hampshire, who is pictured demonstrating Rossom Robots, the gesture-controlled robot arm kit that she designed for educators seeking to introduce advanced technologies to their classrooms.
Second place and $8,000 was awarded to Erin Morrow, a junior education major from Windham, New Hampshire, who is pictured demonstrating Rossom Robots, the gesture-controlled robot arm kit that she designed for educators seeking to introduce advanced technologies to their classrooms.

Third place and $5,000 went to Reeve Fatuova, a Class of 2026 entrepreneurship major from Ramsey, New Jersey, for BUSTZ, a quality sports bra she developed for women athletes. Savannah Smith, a senior entrepreneurship major from Chesterfield, Virginia, and Jake Lagana, a junior computer science from Upper Nyack, New York, were runners-up and each earned $2,500. Smith’s product, HatEase, is an insert designed to keep a hat secure during sports or activity. Lagana’s Picnic Club is a luxury loungewear and clothing brand.

Dr. Shanté P. Williams, Global CEO of Black Pearl Global Investments, judged the business plan competition along with David Couch, CEO of Blue Ridge Companies, and Malay Shah, director of Venture South Piedmont. Williams found the students’ business plans marketable and, in some cases, already making money.

“The business plan competition was simply top notch,” said Williams. “The position and presentation of the students rivaled seasoned entrepreneurs, and these students will be miles ahead as their businesses continue to scale. These students made proud both the university and their advisors Kathryn Elliot, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and professor of the practice of entrepreneurship, and James Fakunle, assistant professor of entrepreneurship.”

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