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FEDCO's 4th Annual "First Pitch" Student Entreprenurial Contest a winner

“I’m truly impressed with this top-notch event, and the ideas students bring."


That was said by one attendee after watching the student business presentations at the recent “First Pitch” event hosted by FEDCO (Fulton Economic Development Corporation.)  This event featured finalist teams of entrepreneurs from the following area schools:  Caston and Tippecanoe Valley each with two teams, and Rochester entering one team.


FEDCO’s BizGroManager Amy Beechy facilitated and welcomed everyone to the day’s competition.The first pitch presentation was by Tippecanoe Valley’s Mag Pic team whose business model was based on developing a magnetic plastic guitar pick to eliminate losing or hunting for your picks by keeping it secured to the instrument.  Product samples were given to the judges and a musical demonstration was also provided to showcase the pick’s easy access by being kept securely on the guitar.Team members included Eric Eikenberry, Dawson Ault and Kiera Smythe.


Next came Caston’s Curfew team comprised of Blake Oberg, Amanda Evers, Cassidy Vinson, and Ely Blacketor. Their passion was finding a solution to keep college students feeling safe on campus.  After sharing a personal story of a campus stalker and how long it took for the student to receive a “safe” ride from Campus Security, the team presented their idea for a mobile app platform that would be leased to universities, making it a free app students can download to their mobile phones for securing a safety escort, to either walk with or drive students safely to their campus destination.  Their hours would be when other services are not easily accessible and match college student needs.


The third presentation was given by Alex Deming and Payton Moore of Rochester High School describing Timber Targets, a mobile axe-throwing and archery outdoor entertainment companyThey wish to provide cost-effective outdoor family-friendly entertainment in the Fulton County area. They would be available at festival events as well as for private and business party offerings at a much lower costthan those venues people are now travelling miles to experience.


Tippecanoe Valley’s Jim Bros team which is an athletic apparel company specializing in clothing and accessories specifically made for the gym.  Their goal is to offer premium gear to all athletes from body builder to the average person wanting to be physically fit.  They also demonstrated their Blender Bro, a durable motorized blending bottle for easy mixing of gym supplements during workout sessions.  Team members included Wyatt Reiter and Jeremy Schwenk.


The final presentation was conducted by Wildcard Café team with members consisting of Caston students Abigail Crawn, Schuyler Hurt, Quincy Prenatt, and Braden Rush.  They described their American-style, family restaurant that chooses your meal for you through a menu “wild card.”  The wild card is a survey to fill out with a customer’s likes, dislikes and allergies.  The staff then uses that information to choose a meal for the customer.  Their concept was born out of an idea to provide dining options for those who are adventurous or are indecisive about which restaurant to visit.


After each of the team’s seven-minute “pitch”, judges Andrew Horstman (Fulton County REMC CEO), Kim Martin (Hoffman Body shop and Graphics) and Chris Hoffman (Machine Castings Specialties) had time to ask clarifying questions and then when all presentations were finished, the judges retired to a private area for scoring and deliberations. 


Scoring for business plans submitted and the oral presentations were based on including the business name and participant’s names; description of the product/service; describing what made the team interested in this kind of business; telling why the business is feasible and why it will be successful; defining the business model and how it will make money, the target customer(s), pricing, costs, and projected profitability; and finally, identifying the business’ competitive edge.


Once judges made their decision, winners were announced and cash prizes in the total amount of $1500 (donated by Fulton County REMC) were awarded as follows: 


1st Place –Mag Pic ($500); 2nd Place –Timber Targets ($400), followed by 3rd Place – Jim Bros ($300); 4th Place –Wildcard Café ($200) and 5th Place –Curfew ($100).


Judges also shared positive and constructive feedback for each team on their presentations.


FEDCO concluded the event by thanking the supporters including the schools, teachers, sponsors, judges, timekeeper, RTC and the community partners who support these programs. 


The event was held at the Geneva Center and livestreamed and recorded by RTC. 


For more information about FEDCO  small business programs, contact Amy Beechy at 574-709-7955 or