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Connor England, Mark Feuerborn Win Washburn Pitch Competition

10/21/16 01:10 pm CDT
"We’re in the process of looking for investors and consumers to help us test the product. We are definitely moving forward with production of the appliance."

     The team of Connor England and Mark Feuerborn won first place in the Washburn Pitch Competition held October 20 at Washburn University. Their business proposal for Allspice, an electronic spice rack that dispenses exact measurements of spices, was among four pitches presented in the Finals Round of the competition. England is a business major from Topeka; Feuerborn is a mass media major with a minor in business from Overland Park. Both students are juniors at Washburn University. 

     “Tonight was a large milestone for Allspice—hopefully one of many to come,” said Feuerborn. “We’re in the process of looking for investors and consumers to help us test the product. We are definitely moving forward with production of the appliance.” 

     England is appreciative of the support he has received at Washburn. “We can’t thank the School of Business enough for opportunities like this to grow as entrepreneurs. We’re excited for Allspice and the road ahead.” 

     Second place was awarded to Washburn senior business major Nathan Burkholder for his prototype for alternate tread attic stairs. Lindsey Jones, who attends Washburn Institute of Technology, received third for a food truck for dogs, with canine treats and other specialty items available for purchase. Fourth place was awarded to Rachel Darey and Christina Foreman, Washburn senior business majors, for a foot scanner designed to measure the dimensions of a dancer’s foot when fitting pointe shoes. 

     Additional winners were announced after the October 6 Knockout Round, and those contestants were recognized during the awards ceremony. The top freshman entry was awarded to Jeremy Luck and Jacob Newlin for an app that blocks distractions on cell phones and computers. The top Washburn Institute of Technology entry not in the Finals Round was awarded to Teagan Thompson for Canine Café, a cozy café where customers can indulge in fine coffees, teas, and desserts in the company of their canine friends. 

     The competition awarded $25,000 in cash prizes to the four finalists, the top freshman entry, and the top Washburn Tech entry. Prizes were made possible through a collaborative partnership with GO Topeka. 

     Eugene Williams served as master of ceremonies. Williams is the Executive Director and General Manager at KTWU TV.

     The finalists were selected at the Knockout Round held October 6. More than 100 student entrepreneurs participated from Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology, representing 69 teams. Each team had three minutes to present, or pitch, a new business idea to a panel of judges. 

     For more information about the Pitch Competition, contact Dr. David Price at 785-670-3258; david.price@washburn.edu.

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