Schulze Hall was overflowing with innovative ideas on Friday during the annual St. Thomas Business Plan Competition, where $38,000 was awarded to budding entrepreneurs.

Hosted by the Opus College of Business Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, 10 teams – five from St. Thomas and five from area high schools – pitched their business plans to a panel of expert judges. All presenters went home with valuable feedback and insights from the judging panel to help strengthen their business idea, and the top winners walked away with $10,000.

“It’s always so inspiring and impressive to see the kinds of problems these high school and university students are tackling, as well as the creativity and resourcefulness they are applying to the solutions they are developing,” said Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Associate Dean Laura Dunham. “The St. Thomas Business Plan Competition not only gives them additional experience presenting their ideas and learning from the judges; it helps all these students build the kinds of skills necessary to be successful in our changing, entrepreneurial economy. And, of course, it’s great that this year, and going forward, we will be able to offer cash prizes to every team that is selected to participate in the event.”

University of St. Thomas Division Finalists:

Winner ($10,000)

Moody’s Ice Cream – Rachael Rinehart (MBA). Moody’s Ice Cream combines the indulgence of super-premium ice cream with the mood-boosting properties of essential oils for the ultimate feel-good, sensory experience.

First Runner-up ($5,000)

Palisaid pEDIT – Sean Finn (MBA). Diabetes education programs are unable to scale to improve patient access due to inefficient processes in patient documentation and capturing reimbursement effectively. Palisaid is developing pEDIT (Palisaid’s Electronic Diabetes Integration Tool) in response to this problem. pEDIT is designed to live within an electronic medical record system and help guide the educator through the entire patient visit to capture necessary documentation and ensure maximum reimbursement.

Second Runner-up ($2,500)

Nashipai – Jenny Behrens (MBA). Nashipai is a socially responsible online jewelry brand that sells bold and colorful jewelry.

Third Runner-up ($1,000)

4Tennis – Brady Gruenhagen (Entrepreneurship and Real Estate). 4Tennis is a company dedicated to recycling used tennis strings through the sale of their tennis bracelet. It’s an industry first: a tennis-specific bracelet with a mission to make the sport greener.

Fourth Runner-up ($500)

Clover Financial – Samuel Dufault (Finance) and Alexandra Crassas (Business and Spanish). Clover Financial is a budgeting and savings app aimed at assisting college students with their personal finances.

High School Division Finalists:

Winner ($10,000)

The Posh Pony – Lara Rahman and Ally Mattson (Minnetonka High School). The Posh Pony has created the first fully organic horse treat of its kind. The treats combine personal connections with visual appeal to enhance the equestrian-horse relationship.

First Runner-up ($5,000)

Beast Customs – Bryce Paul (Concordia Academy). Custom designed shoes and stencils that amplify the uniqueness of each athlete and their fans.

Second Runner-up ($2,500)

Safe Stuffing – Cael Pfeffer, Lauren Benoit and Ally Chan (Minnetonka High School). Safe Stuffing is a dog toy company that specializes in making dog toys with stuffing that is completely digestible in stomach acid. The aim of our product is to keep dogs from getting bowel obstructions, thus requiring emergency surgery.

Third Runner-up ($1,000)

Meiyu Make-up Remover Pads – Allison Tran, Zige Wang, Junha Yoo and Arya Tanksale (Mounds View High School). Meiyu is a student-run company that aims to help people leave a lighter footprint on the environment with our zero-waste solution to makeup removal. Our product is a dual-sided reusable makeup remover pad made of environmentally friendly materials.

Fourth Runner-up ($500)

Bio Bev – Margaret Xiao, Sarah Zhang, Riley Stern and Amanda Diao (Mounds View High School). BioBev is a student-run company that aims to provide an alternative for non-biodegradable cups to reduce waste, especially in our community. Our current product is a fully biodegradable cup with a rippled exterior.

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