UConn Students Win 1st Place in Statewide Competition – Venture Business Category

On Friday, April 26, eighteen finalists from nine Connecticut universities competed in the statewide 2013 Connecticut Collegiate Business Model Competition. Among the first place winners were UConn School of Business undergraduates Tim Hidu ’13 and Paul Melancon ’13, whose business, Sea Green Organics, was awarded first place in the venture business category, coming ahead of three competing MBA teams. Sea Green Organics aims to commercially produce and distribute an organic liquid seaweed-based lawn fertilizer. They are one of among four teams working with faculty advisor Tim Dowding from the University of Connecticut School of Business in Stamford that were competitively selected as finalists in Friday’s competition.

The competition, administered by the Entrepreneurship Foundation, was held at the New Haven Lawn Club in New Haven, Connecticut. Student teams had ten minutes including Q&A to convince a panel of investors and authorities on entrepreneurship that their business was the best investment. Winners were awarded cash grants, free services, and advice to encourage and assist them to move forward with their new ventures.

The purpose of the competition is “to recognize excellence in entrepreneurship education and to bring to light innovative business models with the promise of providing new jobs and economic growth for the state.” Approximately 100 business plans were submitted in total.

Winning Student Businesses

Personal Business Category

First Place
Cinegame, Cinema Marketing Platform, Central Connecticut State University

Second Place and Best Written Executive Summary
Pancake Power, Gateway Community College, A food truck serving healthy gourmet pancakes

Best Oral Presentation
IGreekU, Social media network for Fraternity and Sorority life, Quinnipiac University

Venture Business Category

First Place
Sea Green Organics, organic liquid seaweed-based lawn fertilizer, University of Connecticut – Stamford

Second Place and Best Written Executive Summary
Pulse.ly, Mobile phone-based customer feedback at the point of sale, Yale University

Best Oral Presentation
WattMarket, Connecting investors with clean energy projects through the web, Yale University


  • The Winning Personal and Venture Businesses each received a $1000 grant Sponsored by Day Pitney LLP and Launch Capital.
  • The Personal winner also received a $2500 booth for one day at the Eastern States Exposition in September. The Venture winner also received a Legal Services Package from Day Pitney LLP valued at $5000 and an invitation to “Breakfast with a VC” at Launch Capital.
  • The second-place Personal and Venture Businesses received a $500 grant.
  • The Best Personal and Venture Oral Presentation received a $500 grant. Sponsored by Dolores and Cliff Ennico
  • The Best Personal and Venture Written Executive Summary (as determined by the Semi-Final judges) received a $500 grant.
  • The winning school for each of the four awards received a trophy.

Colleges and Universities

Central Connecticut State University
Fairfield University
Gateway Community College
Quinnipiac University
University of Bridgeport
University of Connecticut – Stamford
University of Hartford
University of New Haven
Yale University

Pictured L to R: Master of Ceremonies Cliff Ennico, Paul Melancon and Tim Hidu of Sea Green Organics, and Judge Ben Wiles of Day Pitney LLP

Additional photos from the event can be viewed here.

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