GRCC students win MWest Challenge Impact Awards



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 15, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two Grand Rapids Community College student teams each won $1,000 prizes at the MWest Challenge competition.

Of the 23 GRCC teams that submitted executive summaries for the business plan competition, nine went on to present their ideas on April 1 at Grand Valley State University.

Keyon Hall and Bessie Hall won an Impact Award for The Shop Supermarket, their proposal for a business that would provide customers with safe and properly equipped workspaces to work on their cars.

Khrystal Jackson won an Impact Award for Tech-ulance, a proposal for a convenient phone repair service that makes house calls.

Professor Felix Pereiro, head of GRCC's business department, said these victories were the culmination of hours of practice and preparation. “This is a special accomplishment for our students as they work toward their associate degree,” he said. “Keyon, Bessie and Khrystal put in the hours necessary to compete against the very best college students in West Michigan – facing juniors, seniors and MBA students at top four-year universities in West Michigan -- and their work and dedication paid off.”

The other GRCC teams that participated were:

  • Careactors R’ US LLC with Anna Mansfield.
  • Nelly’s Body Art with Channel Smith.
  • Press Fold-N-Go with Jade Sledge.
  • Sharon’s Loving Pet & Home with Sharon Mooney.
  • Sushi Amateur with Hang He.
  • Techno18 with Dwayne Johnson.
  • The International Commission for Albinism with Ahmed Ali.

Assistant professors Matheta Righa and Orletta Caldwell, professor Jeffrey Spoelman, adjunct professors John Rumery and John Schwalm, and Brian Daily’s team in the business tutorial and computer lab assisted the teams as they prepared for this event. The event was also supported by staff members Myriah Williams and Solangie Acosta.

"Competitive events, such as MWest Challenge, help our GRCC students improve and polish their skills so they are better able to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive marketplace," Pereiro said. "They learn for themselves what entrepreneurs go through during the early startup stage and the hard work that goes into creating an outstanding executive summary and idea pitch."

The student business competition drew teams from 12 West Michigan colleges and universities competing for more than $40,000 in prizes, the competition included workshops and opportunities for students to network with investors over a one month period.

GRCC's business department offers programs in accounting, business administration, management and supervision, marketing, office administration, and certificates in entrepreneurship and marketing.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.