(From left) Barbara Bowker, vice president of marketing, Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union; Peter Garland, executive vice chancellor, State System of Higher Education; winner Logan Chernicky; Tracy Reinsel, business outreach consultant, Clarion University Small Business Development Center.
A Clarion University of Pennsylvania senior has won the $10,000 first place prize in the seventh annual Student Business Plan Competition sponsored by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education for developing a system that allows construction site managers to track the progress of their projects using drones and specialized computer software.
"Enhanced Visual," the system developed by Logan Chernicky of Clarion, allows construction site managers and engineers to compare actual progress on their projects with pre-work projections to help keep them "on track and under budget."
"Enhanced Visual focuses on integrating and developing unmanned aerial systems," Chernicky said. "Our mission is to educate, guide and collaborate with companies across industries to cut costs and increase efficiency by leveraging drone technology. We provide our own pilots and specialized services, but also offer consulting and training services by navigating hardware, software and FAA regulations."
Chernicky will graduate in May with a dual degree in geology and environmental geology. He also has an oil and gas paralegal certificate.
"Talk about student success; just look around this room tonight," said interim Chancellor Karen Whitney at Wednesday's awards ceremony at Shippensburg University. "Each year, this competition brings out the best in our students. Many of the students who have participated in prior years have taken their plans and put them into practice, establishing successful businesses and fulfilling their dreams. I'm confident that trend will continue. This isn't the last you'll see or hear from this group of budding entrepreneurs."
The annual Business Plan Competition is designed to provide student entrepreneurs a real-world opportunity to pitch their original business plans and to win funds to assist in the start-up or expansion of their businesses. Students from the 14 State System universities are invited to participate in the competition each year. This year's competition drew about 200 students/student teams.
Amanda Layden, a senior at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, won the second place, $5,000 award with her plan for Organtick, a direct-to-consumer, all-natural tick repellent containing sunscreen protection. Zachary Waldman and Nick Neely from East Stroudsburg University captured third place and a $2,500 award for the development of Falchion Systems, a cybersecurity startup designed to help companies secure their computer networks and counter web-based social engineering attacks.
Sponsors of this year's competition were the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education Foundation, East Stroudsburg University Center for Research and Economic Development, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts and Marathon Studios Inc.,
Judges were Sara Weiser, financial education manager at the PSECU; Michael Gildea, founder and CEO of Brain Gain, LLC; Sheri R. Collins, deputy secretary for the Office of Technology & Innovation for the state Department of Community and Economic Development; and Steven Strumbris, director of the Small Business Development Center at Bucknell University.