Kuyper Teams Garner Awards at MWest Challenge

March 28, 2016

In early April, six teams of Kuyper students participated in the MWest Challenge—West Michigan’s Regional Business Plan Competition. A student business venture competition which offers a total of $40,000 in start-up capital in various award categories, MWest Challenge is designed to create cross-collaboration between students. It spans across several universities and colleges from West Michigan including: Kuyper College, Grand Valley State University, Kendall College of Art and Design, Davenport University, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Hope College.

The Kuyper teams, made of Business Leadership majors, developed innovative new business ideas, including a restaurant employing and equipping refugees; a “lost valuables,” electronic-finding service; a special toilet that minimizes clogging; and a pin to keep sock pairs together in the wash. 

Two Kuyper teams received awards.  Avereil Koory’s single member team developed “Old Flame,” an eco-friendly, all-natural candles company whose products are themed based on Grand Rapids landmarks and settings.  Jesslyn Bolthouse, Nicole De Windt, and Hunter Herich’s team developed “Young at Heart Home Care.” Their concept focused on providing at-home, non-medical services to the elderly, such as reading, completing household tasks, and errand-running. Both concepts earned Impact Awards, each garnering $1000 in start-up capital.

In making the awards, the MWest Challenge judges focused on the criteria of the company idea, market size, market strategy, management team, and financials of each potential business.