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      NMU student wins $4000 for business venture

      Tony Plemmons, The Protein Palace; 1st Place

      On Thursday, six Northern Michigan University students on five teams presented business ventures for a chance to win $4000.

      Tony Plemmons, an MBA student, took home the 1st place $4000 prize for his Protein Palace business venture. His idea was about low-cost, health-oriented meals located near exercise facilities.

      "The main thing was trying to get my point across," said Plemmons. "I really had to make sure they understand the plan."

      From pamphlets to sample products, students had everything possible to sell their business venture. It wasn't an easy process--a 20-page business plan including facts, figures and earnings had to be included.

      "I've probably spent at least 100 to 150 hours on it," said economics major Keegan Hitz.

      And the competition was just as tough. Ideas varied from safe feline fortresses to a healthy, protein-packed restaurant.

      "I see a lot of neat stuff that people have come up with, so itâ??s just pretty exciting to be here," insisted Matthew Yadro, a business management major.

      After judges had one-on-one time with students, it was time for PowerPoint presentations and elevator pitches. Itâ??s called an elevator pitch because it should last no longer than the average elevator ride.

      Bob Jacquart, CEO of Jacquart Fabric Products, said there are a lot of new things to take into consideration when building a business.

      "Have they looked at marketing, have they looked at costs, have they looked at their labor, have they looked at buildings they want to buy or what their product line is?" the CEO explained.

      The best part was winners could use the prize money for anything they want.

      Lauren Lund took home the $2500 second place prize and Sage Henning placed third, winning $1500.