RCBC Alum Uses Personal Experience for a Business Plan that is Driven to Help Students
Thursday, Aug 17, 2023

RCBC Startup Stars winner Lauwinda Cherilus

Rowan College at Burlington County offers a valuable opportunity to students with an entrepreneurial spirit. The annual Startup Stars Entrepreneurship Competition (RCBC's version of "Shark Tank) is an opportunity for aspiring creators to test their product or service ideas, get valuable market research, receive constructive feedback and earn funding to bring their dreams to life. 

After embarking on an entrepreneurial journey, Lauwinda Cherilus, a recent graduate from RCBC, won the college’s StartUp competition in June, which carries a $1500 prize toward establishing a business.

After experiencing a car accident and being forced to rely on public transportation, she was inspired to start her own business. She want to help others who also rely on these services, so she interviewed fellow students who shared a similar commute. Surprised by the number of individuals in need, she felt motivated to create a solution for this widespread issue. 

With the investment provided, Cherilus is working towards helping students access affordable transportation and making education more accessible for all. "Helping others overcome their struggles with commuting by public transportation is truly rewarding. It's satisfying to know that I can make a difference and alleviate some of the worries that come with going to college,” she shared.

Cherilus reflects on the amazing experience and credits RCBC for making it comfortable, as she already knew the program’s coordinators. Experiential Learning Manager Erica Franklin states, “Through a supportive, educational experience, the program prepares aspiring entrepreneurs to develop comprehensive business plans and provides a platform to pitch those ideas to a panel of judges for an opportunity to receive a cash prize investment.”

Cherilus’ success story inspires others to take the leap and pursue their entrepreneurship dreams. For students interested in the program, she advised her peers on the importance of utilizing resources and connections. “Going to college and taking classes is only part of the experience. Connect with your peers and professors, learn about their lives, and grow together,” she said. 

If Lauwinda Cherilus’s journey has sparked your interest, you may want to explore the opportunity further. Additional information can be found here.


Thank you, Opportunity Meets Innovative Challenge (OMIC), for funding this year’s competition winners. 


Thank you, National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) for providing us with a grant to fund the 2024 competition.