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Senior wins McDaniel College’s $5K Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge

Joshua Arruda, a McDaniel College senior from Morrisville, Pennsylvania, makes his winning presentation Thursday during the college’s sixth annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge. (Photo courtesy of McDaniel College)

McDaniel College senior Joshua Arruda won the $5,000 top prize Thursday at the college’s sixth annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge in the Naganna Forum of the Roj Student Center.

The accounting, economics and business administration triple major from Morrisville, Pennsylvania, also received $1,000 as the People’s Choice winner.

Arruda’s entry, HiQ Basketball, is a subscription service for youth athletes, leveraging existing online platforms, to deliver basketball IQ training at basketball camps and to individuals.

Aunt Fancy’s, presented by sophomore Laura Vonella, an art-communication major with a minor in entrepreneurship from New Oxford, Pennsylvania, received $1,000 as the runner-up.

Dspence LLC, presented by sophomore Kiyara Fleming, a sociology major from Baltimore, was the $1,000 Community Changer award recipient.

The five finalists also participated in McDaniel’s five-week Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge Training Program leading up to the competition, led by Jennifer Yang, McDaniel’s entrepreneur-in-residence. The program pairs each student with a mentor — alumni, faculty member, or local business owner — who assists them in developing their ideas in the lead-up to the competition.

The competition is part of the Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Aimed at developing core entrepreneurial skills, this academic program is open to students of any major. Through the program, students have access to the entrepreneur-in-residence, alumni connections, mini grants, and other events like the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge. McDaniel students can also choose to minor in entrepreneurship or major or minor in marketing.

Mike Looney, a lecturer in business administration and economics, is the director of the Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and served as master of ceremonies at the event. His courses include topics in starting a business, ethics, innovation, and investing. He has more than 30 years of experience in the retirement plan services industry and is the founder and current manager of Chesapeake Benefit Partners.