Jamal Robinson of DESIAR Eyewear wins 2016 New Venture Competition

Jamal Robinson has been named the sixth champion of Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s New Venture Competition, which took place Thursday evening on Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum Campus. He won $35,000 in capital for his business, DESIAR Eyewear.

Robinson

Robinson

Robinson sold his first pair of DESIAR Eyewear in 2012, and he calls 2014 “the game changing year” for the company: That’s when companies like Luxottica (the largest eyewear company in the world), TJX (Europe’s version of TJ Maxx), and The Aldo Group began to carry DESIAR sunglasses.

With the $35,000 he wins from the New Venture Competition, he will launch his Hoosier line of eyewear, which feature wooden frames and are entirely manufactured in Indiana.

He and two other finalists presented their business plans to a room full of community business people, and he says he felt confident during his presentation.

“When it comes to DESIAR, I know DESIAR,” says Robinson, an Ivy Tech Northeast alum who graduated from IPFW with his associate degree in business. “With all that, I felt comfortably prepared. I was confident I did the best I could do.”

Robinson presented his business plan to more than 30 community professionals, who served as judges. The other finalists were Andrew Smittie, of Green E-Waste Miracles, which collects items trash companies won’t pick up like computers and technology and recycles the material; and Guadalupe Callejas, of Metro Striping & More, an interior and exterior painting company. Callejas was also a finalist in last year’s New Venture Competition.

Each finalist presented for 15 minutes. After the presentations, judges were given an additional 15 minutes for a question-and-answer session. The judges had been provided the contestants’ business plans prior to the event.

In its sixth year, the New Venture Competition’s presenting sponsor was Dave and Mary Bear of JB Tool, Die & Engineering Inc., and was also made possible through a grant from the Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation. The awards dinner sponsor was ProFed Federal Credit Union, and the competition was in collaboration with Fort Wayne SCORE.

Learn more about the New Venture Competition at IvyTech.edu/northeast/newventure, where you can also watch short videos with Robinson, Smittie, and Callejas. Learn more about studying entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Northeast at IvyTech.edu/study-entrepreneurship.

Jamal Robinson won $35,000 on Thursday night at Ivy Tech Northeast’s 2016 New Venture Competition, in its sixth year. Robinson is the founder of DESIAR Eyewear. From left: James Tolbert, Ivy Tech Northeast business administration assistant professor; Robinson; Doug Wood, PNC Bank regional president; Karen Potter, ProFed Credit Union assistant vice president, commercial services; and Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor.

Jamal Robinson won $35,000 on Thursday night at Ivy Tech Northeast’s 2016 New Venture Competition, in its sixth year. Robinson is the founder of DESIAR Eyewear. From left: James Tolbert, Ivy Tech Northeast business administration assistant professor; Robinson; Karen Potter, ProFed Credit Union assistant vice president, commercial services; Doug Wood, PNC Bank regional president; and Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor.

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast announces finalists for 2014 New Venture Competition

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast has announced the three finalists for its 2014 New Venture Competition. In its fourth year, the competition’s champion will receive at least $20,000 in start-up capital for presenting the best business plan for her small business.

The finalists and their plans are as follows:

  • Beth Scholer, Caregivers Kitchen—This company provides hands-on training for the home health care industry, focusing on food safety, nutrition, meal planning, grocery shopping, and food and beverage preparation. Caregivers take classes and earn certificates. Scholer’s business philosophy: All of our past life experiences shape who were are. Whether it is how we were raised, a job, a hobby, or even a menial task—it molds us. It is up to us to take all of those experiences and become who we were meant to be.

    Scholer

    Scholer

  • Heather Overmyer, Events from Above—The business provides event planning, event design and decoration, catering, and quality balloon displays. Overmyer’s business philosophy: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17 This quote pushes me to know that God gave me a perfect gift, and I want to do the same to others through my skills.

    Overmyer

    Overmyer

  • Maggie Kitch, Pure Power Nutrition—This service provides educational and motivational nutrition and invites clients to better themselves physically, mentally, and socially. Kitch’s business philosophy: First you make your habits, and then your habits make you.

    Kitch

    Kitch

“Now in its fourth year, the New Venture Competition continues to find the best students with the most exciting business ideas,” says Jim Tolbert, who heads the competition. “I’m looking forward to seeing these three finalists present their business plans.”

The New Venture Awards Dinner is at 5 p.m. Sept. 18 on Ivy Tech Northeast’s Coliseum Campus, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd., in Room 1640. The awards banquet will feature a presentation by the finalists, and community judges will vote on the New Venture champion at the event.

This year, the competition has partnered with Fort Wayne SCORE, a group that grows successful small businesses across the country. The group, made of volunteer experienced business owners and managers, will be providing mentorship for the finalists.

The New Venture Competition is sponsored by JB Tool, Die & Engineering and owners Dave and Mary Bear.