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ReDorm wins $5K top prize at McDaniel's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge

UPDATE: ReDorm presented by sophomore Javon Spencer, Business Administration major from New Castle, Delaware, earned the $5,000 top prize as the first-place winner of McDaniel’s seventh annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge. 

Javon Spencer and Jennifer Yang

Javon Spencer, sophomore Business Administration major, who presented ReDorm, earned the $5,000 top prize as the first-place winner of McDaniel’s seventh annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge. He is pictured with Jennifer Yang, McDaniel’s entrepreneur-in-residence. 

UPDATE: ReDorm presented by sophomore Javon Spencer, Business Administration major from New Castle, Delaware, earned the $5,000 top prize as the first-place winner of McDaniel’s seventh annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Y LIME presented by junior Emily Trachoo, Marketing major from College Park, Maryland, received $1,000 as the runner-up, while junior Kiyara Fleming, Sociology major from Baltimore, who presented Kiy Productions was the $1,000 People's Choice Winner.

Sophomore Eric Grinwis, Business Administration major from Laurel, Maryland, who presented TATMANERC was the $1,000 Community Changer award recipient.

The four finalists also participated in McDaniel’s five-week Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge Training Program leading up to the competition.

On Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m., four McDaniel students will compete for a $5,000 top prize by presenting their entrepreneurial ideas and products to a panel of experts at the annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge. Other cash prizes include $1,000 for the runner-up, $1,000 for the People’s Choice, and $1,000 for the Community Changer.

The event, located in Naganna Forum, Roj Student Center, is free and open to the public. A pre-reception starts at 6 p.m.

It will also be broadcast by the Community Media Center on cable channel HD-1086 and streamed live on the Community Media Center’s Facebook and YouTube.

Watch the livestream on Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m.

In the month before the event, the selected students engage in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge Training Program, led by Jennifer Yang, McDaniel’s entrepreneur-in-residence. The five-week 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 four finalists are:

Innovation Challenge Participant

TATMANERC Presented by sophomore Eric Grinwis

Grinwis is a Business Administration major from Laurel, Maryland. 

TATMANERC captures the tattoo experience through a video depicting all phases of the tattooing process.

“My goal is to create an empire with high-quality tattoo shops around the world."

Kiy Productions Presented by junior Kiyara Fleming

Fleming is a Sociology major from Baltimore. 

A nonprofit aimed at developing a mini documentary series that focuses on assisting at-risk youth with answers to questions that they may not have otherwise been able to ask.

“My business idea is a nonprofit that will help at-risk youth develop skills, such as money management, cooking, credit, college readiness, and more."

ReDorm Presented by sophomore Javon Spencer

Spencer is a Business Administration major from New Castle, Delaware. 

ReDorm is a recycling app that connects college students with products that they need, such as furniture, room accessories, textbooks, and more.

“ReDorm connects students who need products with those who are downsizing, preventing perfectly adequate items from going to waste."  

Y LIME Presented by junior Emily Trachoo

Trachoo is a Marketing major from College Park, Maryland.

An Asian fusion food stand providing a distinctive range of healthy and nutritious food and beverages to McDaniel College students.

“We strive to offer tasty, affordable, and easily accessible options to students and hope to expand our business to other colleges that have limited access to diverse and healthy offerings.” 

The judges who will choose the winners include:

  • Mel Brennan '96 is executive director of McDaniel’s Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO), where he oversees the work of the CEO, its programs and initiatives, while working closely with academic departments, as well as community partners. A 1996 alum, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History and has held a variety of leadership roles with nonprofit organizations.
  • Graham Dodge serves as the executive director of MAGIC (Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory), a nonprofit organization that works to spur tech and entrepreneurial activity in Carroll County. He is a patented inventor, public speaker, and technologist.
  • Brooke Hagerty, an Institute for Integrative Nutrition certified health coach, is a local entrepreneur. Her nonprofit Zach’s Sacks, named for her late son who was tragically killed in a drunk driving accident, provides Sacks of Love to groups and individuals in need. She is also the manager of the Downtown Westminster Farmers Market and helps run her husband’s restaurant, Bud’s at Silver Run. Hagerty is also currently training to become a yoga instructor.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge is part of McDaniel’s Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an academic program open to students in any major that is aimed at developing core entrepreneurial skills. 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.

Make a donation to support the Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.