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Clarkson University Selects Two Winners for Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators Competition
Clarkson University’s Reh Center for Entrepreneurship and Shipley Center for Innovation have named two more Young Entrepreneurs and Innovators Program winners.
Through a unique business plan competition, which concluded earlier this month, five finalists presented their existing business plans and commercialization opportunities to a panel of experts. Two were invited to negotiate terms to exchange equity in their company for tuition at Clarkson.
The University is breaking new ground through the program to make higher education accessible to enterprising students, while also giving them a great return value.
Hanna Hladkikh, a Clarkson junior innovation and entrepreneurship major from Adams Center, N.Y., was named the winner of the Young Entrepreneurs Award.
Paul D. Schreiber Senior High School student Paul B. Hyman of Port Washington, N.Y., was named the winner of the Young Innovators Award.
Both students have been offered the opportunity to attend Clarkson without payment of tuition (Hladkikh, for the remainder of her undergraduate career), through a combination of merit-based financial aid and a purchase by Clarkson of 10 percent equity in their firm at fair market value.
The winners will receive specialized guidance and support from faculty and alumni mentors. They will also keep their businesses going in Clarkson business incubator office space, while pursuing their undergraduate degrees.
“This competition is aligned perfectly with the educational mission of Clarkson, which has a long-standing tradition of creating entrepreneurially minded business leaders who understand how to develop a successful business, harness innovative technologies and build opportunities for commercialization in the marketplace,” says Clarkson President Tony Collins.
Prior to the competition, aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators submitted applications that included a completed business plan, a 90-second video and a brief description of their business. During the competition, the five finalists had 15 minutes to pitch their idea and 15 minutes of questions from the panel.
Hladkikh won the Young Entrepreneurs Award for her business idea Feels Like Home Inc., a Web-based company that will provide the international community living in the U.S. access to their favorite international products while living in small communities like Potsdam.
“Today, many students come to the U.S. to study for a few years, or even a semester, and many of them would like to expand their shopping choices in rural areas, which often have only a small international presence,” says Hladkikh. “Feels Like Home will supply the value and comfort that will enable them to have products they appreciate and value while they are away from home.”
“Hanna Hladkikh is perfect for the Young Entrepreneurs program,” says Marc Compeau, director of the Reh Center for Entrepreneurship. “Hanna’s energy and passion for her venture will keep us busy, which is exactly what we are looking for. Her international perspective will add to the experience for everyone involved as well.”
Feels Like Home will begin selling online in May through http://www.feelslikehome.biz .
Paul Hyman was named the winner of the Young Innovators Award for Safety Technology Solutions, his company that designs innovative and creative technologies for emergency responders and improves home appliance safety. He will begin as a freshman at Clarkson in the fall.
“Safety Technology Solutions is dedicated to the utilization of innovative and creative technologies at not only the lowest possible cost, but also the highest standard of quality to ensure the safety of emergency responders and the victims of any incident, as well as to guarantee the utmost efficiency in action during any aided scenario,” says Hyman.
Hyman currently has two products and several sub-products designed, including a fully integrated thermal enhanced-infrared (FITE-IR) self-contained breathing apparatus and dryer fire prevention system.
“Paul Hyman represents the definition of a Young Innovator at Clarkson and we are excited to name him as the first recipient of this award,” says Matt Draper, deputy director of the Shipley Center for Innovation. “Innovation is about identifying a problem, creating the solution, and implementing that solution in the market. Paul identified a problem near and dear to his heart and invented a complete solution that we look forward to helping him commercialize.”
The Young Entrepreneurs Award Program was established in September 2010. The innovative program was featured in Money Magazine’s September 2011 issue as a strategy for paying for college.
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.