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Phuong Lu with Doug Tschopp and Andy Shearouse

First-place winner Phuong Lu '24, a business administration major, with Doug Tschopp, EDGE Center director, left, and Andy Shearouse, EDGE Center assistant director, on the right.

'Fruitful Oasis' pitch wins top prize at Business Plan Competition

Eight Augustana College students walked away with honors and prize money from Augustana’s eighth annual Business Plan Competition on Feb. 24.

Phuong Lu '24, a business administration-marketing major, was awarded $4,500 for her first-place project, “Fruitful Oasis,” a pitch for an upscale fruit gift business that would bring a new level of experience to customers.

Second-place winner Beamlak Abdisa
Second-place winner Beamlak Abdisa '25

“It's my honor to have had the opportunity to present my vision of bringing high-quality fruits to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and contributing to the local community's health and well-being,” Lu said.

Doug Tschopp, director of Augustana’s EDGE Center, said all five plans that made the pitch competition were selected from a large group of outstanding plans.

“The pitches were excellent,” he said. “Students always tell me they learn a lot when they do the research and write a full business plan. Even if they never own a business in the future, they develop a better understanding of what makes a business function.”

Third place winners Max Mees and Kyle Campbell
Third-place winners Max Mees '25 and Kyle Campbell '24

The competition is funded by the Augustana Creative Enterprise Fund, which has been supported by a donor.

 Individuals and teams submitted business plans on Jan. 16, and the best five plans were invited to the competition. This year’s judges were Kristoffer Kizer ’18 and Laura Keenan ’22.

Beamlak Abdisa '25, a computer science and data science double major, took second place and the $3,000 prize for her project Ethnobox.

Third place and $1,500 was awarded to the team of Max Mees '25, a business administration-marketing major, and Kyle Campbell '24, a business administration-management and accounting double major, for their project, “PIMMS.”

Honorable mentions, each receiving $500, went to: 

  • Ilyas Jamil '24, a computer science major, and Elnatan Tesfa '24, a computer science and data science double major, for their project Roommixer, a project aimed at solving the problem of matching first-year college roommates through an advanced app and matching algorithm.
  • Nico Navarro '25, an international business and business analytics double major, and Tim Philip '25, a business administration-business intelligence, business administration-marketing and computer science triple major, for their project PeerDeal, a project focused on helping students buy and sell merchandise and services across their campus.

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