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Business plan competition winners announced

April 7, 2020

Three winners from South Dakota schools have been selected in the DSU Business Plan Competition high school division. Erica Ingerson of Eureka won first place, Trey Sejonha of Brandon Valley won second place, and Seth Thury of Arlington won third place.

Originally, the 20 high school finalists were set to compete in a live pitch competition at Dakota State on Saturday, March 28. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the live event was cancelled, and finalists submitted video elevator pitches for judging online.

The competition was sponsored by Heartland Consumers Power District and the Lake Area Improvement Corporation and organized by the Dakota State Collegiate Entrepreneurial Organization (CEO) Club.

First place winner Erica Engerson’s business plan, Stubborn Stitches, is a business that will provide embroidery and sewing services to its clients in Eureka and the surrounding area. According to her business plan, the business will make and sell some products, however the majority of sales will involve customizing personal designs for customers. As first place winner, she received a $1,000 cash prize.

Second place winner Trey Sejnoha’s business plan, Mr. Clean’s Laundromat, is a business that will provide a more enjoyable laundromat experience for the community of Brandon. According to his plan, the business will include high quality washers and dryers, a snack bar, a large flat screen TV, free WiFi, and lounge seating. The business will also offer pickup and drop-off and a wash-dry-fold service for additional fees. As second place winner, Sejnoha received a $500 cash prize.

Third place winner Seth Thury’s business plan, Clean Cut Lawn & Landscape, is a business dedicated to serving lifelong lawn care customers in the Arlington community. According to his business plan, Clean Cut’s primary service offering is weekly lawn care and landscape maintenance to residential and commercial clients. The business also offers a variety of landscape and maintenance and renovation services. Thury received a $250 cash prize.

Members of the CEO Club judged the initial high school business plans helping to select the 20 finalists.

Several local and regional community members volunteered to help review plans in the competitions, and judged the online video elevator pitches of the 20 high school finalists.

“DSU CEO would like to share its heart-felt gratitude for the efforts of all these judges in an unprecedented time of uncertainty, and for all the hard work of every college and high school student who submitted his or her business plan,” said Dr. Michael Roach, assistant professor of management and DSU CEO Club advisor.

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