2017 M West Challenge

May 1, 2017

Four teams of students from Kuyper College Business Leadership program competed in the M West Challenge at Grand Valley State University. The event is the largest collegiate business plan contest in West Michigan. The Kuyper students competed against 60 other teams from eight local colleges. Two Kuyper teams won $500 Impact Awards with their ideas.

According to Professor Marc Andrea, Business Leadership Program Director, the teams were composed of Moses Kayuni and Msafiri Mlongeca whose business idea was provocatively, but aptly named “Poop and Cook," Elizabeth Olack with a business idea called “Destinare,” Phil Johnson & Michael Karanja with their “Games & Grounds” entry, and Madeleine DeVries & Bethany Adkins with their business idea “Music Community Center."

The idea for "Poop and Cook" grew out of the life-experiences of Kayuni and Mlongeca who grew up in Malawi and Tanzania respectively. To counter the trend of dangerous deforestation throughout Africa, both animal and human waste would be converted to  cooking fuel. This option would be readily available and would be far cheaper as a cooking medium for rural areas than plant based wood or charcoal.

The “Music Community Center” involves a "one-stop" location in which music lessons are available for all kinds of instruments. In this business, parents with multiple children could bring them all to one place for music lessons, which would be taught by college students or area music professionals.  "The business idea is focused on increasing the level of engagement in jazz and classical music for the community," Andreas said.

“Poop and Cook,” and “Music Community Center” both won Impact awards for their ideas.

The Kuyper teams perfected their plans throughout the semester, and presented them in class at before taking them to the M West Challenge.