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RCBC Names Cherokee High School Student its Startup Star Winner

Start Up Stars Winner

Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) awarded Marlton resident and Cherokee High School student Jabriel Crawford-Bell its grand prize in the Startup Star business plan competition for his College App concept that connects prospective students and colleges like popular dating applications.

“Rowan College at Burlington County’s Startup Star competition is meant to inspire and educate young people with entrepreneurial aspirations,” said RCBC President Paul Drayton. “Through our premier partnership with Rowan University and their bachelor’s of science in business administration available to our students in fall 2017, RCBC is uniquely positioned to prepare these future business leaders to achieve their dreams.” 

Approximately 70 business plan submissions were whittled down to two finalists in the RCBC student category and six finalists from Burlington County high schools, including Cherokee, Moorestown and Shawnee. Prizes were awarded to the first and second place college participants and first through third place high school finalists.

“This competition perfectly captures what we at the County have sought to accomplish when it comes to workforce development; bringing together leaders from our private sector and academic institutions to foster the ingenuity of our jobseekers and provide them with the tools for successful careers,” said Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Kate Gibbs. “As Freeholders, we are proud of the impressive efforts demonstrated by all those who participated and look forward to supporting continued entrepreneurial education through the college.”

Placing first in the RCBC division was Daniela Velez, Jasvir Gill and Josh Eberle for their “Netwon’s Bench” concept, which is a kit of materials that enables students to take college-level physics courses online and perform the lab portion at home. The kits are currently being sold in the RCBC bookstore and more than 20 students are currently taking advantage of this at-home lab concept. In second place for the RCBC division was Sherley Hinds-Gomez and John Aloi, both of Burlington, for their healthy phone charger concept that would prevent over-charging and light up in three different colors to alert customers of the charge level.

In the high school division, first place went to Moorestown High School students Milan Mirchandani, David Shore, Ryan McCarthy, Michael Vanaria, and Brett Seifreid for their GPS golf ball tracking system proposal. Moorestown High School students Caroline Mabrey, Abby McCullough, Ali Simone, and Jackie Skarbek placed second for their healthy and allergen-free suburban brick and mortar business idea, “In the Mix Bakery.” In third place, was Alexandra Gleason from Shawnee High School for her multi-channeled, digital micropipette concept, which is used to measure and transfer small amounts of liquid in laboratories.

“Whether you are in high school or college, or you are an employer looking for a trained workforce, Rowan College at Burlington County and the RCBC Workforce Development Institute can help you reach your goals through career certificates, workshops, customized training programs and events like the Startup Star business plan competition, which connects students to experts in the field of business and teaches them the fundamentals of sound business plans,” said RCBC Vice President of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning Anna Payanzo Cotton.

Finalists had to present their concepts to an audience and answer questions from a panel of business experts, including: South Jersey Market President of TD Bank Rob Curley, Dean of Rowan University’s William G. Rohrer College of Business Dr. Sue Lehrman, Director of Business Development for Parts Life, Inc. Sheila Harris-Adams, entrepreneur, owner of nine automotive dealerships and RCBC Foundation Board member Wayne Hileman, President/Owner of Alpha Graphics of Cherry Hill and SJimages.biz David Jackson, and Senior Enterprise Relationship Manager for LinkedIn’s Large Enterprise Solutions division Glenn Manko.

Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Kate Gibbs gave opening remarks and helped award prizes alongside Kristi M. Howell, President/CEO, of the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured: Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Kate Gibbs presents Rowan College at Burlington County Startup Star grand prize winner and Cherokee High School student Jabriel Crawford-Bell with a TD Bank check for $750 for his "College App" concept.