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Citadel News Service

For Release
April 24, 2003


New Venture Competition spurs interest in business

          Businesses that would take rock climbing to new heights, put sight and sound technology at the center of homes and businesses and give athletes new training opportunities were among the winning plans at The Citadel's New Venture Competition.

          The competition, which is coordinated by The Citadel School of Business, is designed to encourage cadets to become involved in launching a real world business ventures. Fourteen teams of cadets submitted proposals. Three made it to the final competition on April 23 to vie for $9,000 in scholarship money.

          "The judges were most impressed with the professionalism of the written plans and the presentations of the new venture concepts," said Mike Alford, professor of business at The Citadel.

          Tied for first place were ROK Climbing and Carolina Sight and Sound Design. In third place was At Bat, Inc. The first place teams received $4,000 each in scholarship money, while the third place team received $1,000.

          Carolina Sight and Sound Design is a firm specializing in the custom design, installation and service of entertainment centers ranging from stand alone units to fully integrated systems for homes and businesses. Team Members were John Alexander of Lawrenceville, Ga., Chad Priest of Charleston, S.C., and Rutledge Vaughan of Easley, S.C.

          ROK Climbing is an indoor climbing center featuring rock climbs with both vertical and horizontal walls. Services include climbing classes, equipment, and group activities. Team members were Matt Fussell of Suwanee, Ga., and John Wintz of Cleveland, N.C.

          The advisor for both Carolina Sight and Sound Design and for ROK Climbing was Tom Anderson, adjunct professor in the School of Business Administration.

          In third place was At Bat, Inc., an indoor batting facility designed to serve both the baseball and softball player. The climate-controlled facilities will offer training for teams and individuals as well as recreational activities. Team Members were Jason Cooksey of Florence, S.C., and Hank O'Sheal of Leesville, S.C.

          Their advisor was Wes Jones, professor of business in the School of Business Administration.

          Judging the proposals were:

  •           Donald DeLuca, who has served as chief financial officer of public corporations for 27 years. He is a member of The Citadel School of Business Administration Advisory Board.
  •           Cyrus Wilson, a retired senior international marketing and sales professional with extensive executive consulting experience in the retail, professional services, and manufacturing industries. He is also an adjunct marketing professor in the School of Business Administration.
  •           Burton Schools, chairman of the board of Piggly Carolina and Greenbax Enterprises, Inc. He served as vice president for finance for Piggly Wiggly Carolina and president of Greenbax Enterprises, Inc. He is a member of The Citadel School of Business Administration Advisory Board and serves as an adjunct professor.
  •           Kevin Heaton, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in Mount Pleasant, S.C.


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