The second (annual I hope) Design Entrepreneurs NYC program came to an amazing finale Thursday evening September 26 with the announcement of two winners of cash awards of 1st place- $25,000 and 2nd place- $10,000. Becca McCharen owner of CHROMAT (chromatgarments.com) placed first in the business plan competition and Vasumathi Soundararajan (an FIT grad!) of Ken Wroy, Inc. (kenwroy.com) came in second (there were only two places). Kudos to the winners!
L to R: Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President, Fashion Institute of Technology; Vasumathi Soundararajan, Ken Wroy, Inc.; Becca McCharen, Chromat; Jeanette Nostra, President, G-III Apparel Group.
And kudos to the entire 2013 class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC! Everyone is on their way to growing their companies with freshly minted business plans in their possession. The intensive mini-MBA program started in June with solid weekend-filled classes and then the entrepreneurs spent their summer, under the guidance of mentors, working hard writing and refining their business plans. After submitting their business plans, the entrepreneurs waited to hear which ones were selected to present – half of the class of 35. The presentations, in front of industry judges in four different rooms, narrowed down the field to 4 finalists who then presented in front of all the judges and the 2013 class. Some of the Judges included: Tim Baxter (EVP & GMM, Macy’s), Morris Goldfarb (CEO, G-III Apparel), Ellen Rodriguez (President & CEO, French Connection), Jeffrey Binder (Consultant, Former Divisional Merchandise Manager, Bloomingdales), and Laurence Leeds, Jr. (Chair, Buckingham Capital). I was privileged to be a moderator for one of the panels.
So the entrepreneurs are off now to grow their businesses and take them in new directions as a result of this experience. As well as stay in touch with their classmates, faculty, school and judges.
Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.