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DCC Student Business Fair Winners Announced


(December 4, 2017)  – A food truck, auto shop, drone photographer, and livestock investment service were among the winning student business ideas showcased last week at Danville Community College’s annual entrepreneurship competition.
The third annual Barkhouser Free Enterprise Center Small Business Idea Fair drew 60 entrants, about 30 percent more than last year, and featured a new category for high school students, according to organizer and DCC Business Management Professor Vince Decker. The business ideas included diverse ventures such as a wedding planner, delivery service, videography, taxidermy, antique silverware repurposed into jewelry, and even a cat café.
There were so many worthy ventures, in fact, that judges declared a tie for first place and had to go back to the DCC Educational Foundation for additional prize money, Decker said. In all, the foundation and Barkhouser Center awarded $4,800 in scholarships and $3,000 in start-up funds for the aspiring business owners.
“The mission of DCC’s business program is to encourage students with their entrepreneurial ideas and teach the financial and personal skills necessary to succeed in business, whether that be employment the management and marketing workforce or through business ownership,” Decker said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the participation, attendance, and high level of quality, creativity, and professionalism demonstrated by this year’s student participants.”
Tied for first place were DCC students Dallas King, who presented "That's a Wrap" gourmet food truck, and Joel Keneipp, who presented "Long Haul Auto & Equipment Repair," a preventive maintenance auto shop. Each will receive a $500 DCC scholarship and $500 cash to aid in their start-up businesses.
King’s display included a photo booth shaped like the front of a truck, as well as samples of the meat and veggie wraps she plans to sell. She and her husband plan to start the food truck venture full-time after she graduates from DCC in May 2018.
“I am beyond excited to have won first place,” King said. Originally from Texas, she worked as a stylist for eight years before deciding she needed a change, quit her job, and eventually ended up in Danville. It was here that she met her now-husband, who has worked as a short-order cook for 16 years, and discovered a new career passion.
“We bonded over a mutual love of food and cooking. He has been working towards a goal of having his own restaurant for a few years, and so I enrolled at DCC to learn more about business management,” she said. “This year, we decided a food truck would be an exciting adventure for us, and we began to develop a concept and recipes. I have learned a tremendous amount of valuable and applicable information from my classes at DCC. I will always be grateful that I made the decision to attend, and thankful to DCC for providing the guidance I need to be successful.”
Fellow first-place winner Joel Keneipp is also a career switcher. His display for Long Haul Automotive featured actual car parts showing various problems, and a chart of how much money drivers can save over time by keeping one vehicle and investing in preventative maintenance, as opposed to trading in for a new car every few years. Keneipp, an Automotive Repair and Analysis major, said he has dreamed of being a mechanic since he was 16 years old, but he earned a bachelor’s degree and became an engineer instead at his parents’ urging.
“My parents talked me into going to [four-year] college, so I picked the degree with ‘mechanic’ in the title—mechanical engineering,” Keneipp said.  He spent eight years working as an engineer, four at a nuclear plant and four as a field engineer in industrial fluid sealing, but his dream never died. “When I turned 30, I looked at my career and realized my old dream was still the same—I wanted to be a mechanic,” he said. “While I really enjoyed engineering and working closely with industrial equipment, they would never let me touch anything.  My personality is better suited to working with my head and my hands at the same time, and I decided it was time to make that a reality.”
Keneipp will graduate with his associate degree in May 2018 and plans to start working full-time at the auto shop in Chatham where he currently apprentices. His boss plans to “quasi-retire,” and Keneipp will take over daily operations. He will also continue studying for his Automotive Management degree, a program that includes more business classes to assist him in operating his own shop, with a planned graduation of May 2019.
“I've learned a tremendous amount at DCC, and the value of community college can't be beat,” Keneipp said. “My instructors have been great, and the content has been exactly what I was looking for.  I'd recommend DCC to anyone in the area considering a career change--they've done a great job of supporting non-traditional students.”
Idea Fair judges also announced a tie for second place: Crystal Bailey, who presented “Stone Drones Elite Aerial Services,” an aerial drone photography/videography business; and Bryar Turner, who presented “Turner Urban Farms,” a livestock individual investment service.
Turner, a first-year DCC student and baseball player, was “super excited” to place second for his idea, which he described as “an investment with a fun twist. I take my farm and open it up to people in big cities or places where people want to be in the cattle and agriculture business but just can't” due to location. Investors buy livestock, and Turner will raise the livestock on his farm according to their wishes. “We watch all 27 cattle markets in the state of Virginia so that when you're ready to sell, you get top dollar, so we make money as well. As long as the market cooperates, an investor can make $500+ just from sitting on the couch,” he estimated.
While Turner’s idea is still in the planning phase, he noted he has 13 years of experience with cattle and now just needs to learn the ropes of managing a business. “I’ve enjoyed studying business at DCC because my professors have answered several questions I've had pertaining to how I want to operate and run my business idea. Being that I'm young and new to owning my own business, I knew I had a decent idea but I didn't know how to go about it without being taken advantage of,” Turner said. “Mr. Bonebright and Dr. Decker have both been very helpful in understanding the business side of things and the marketing ideas as well.”
Winners who placed first, second, or third in their category won a DCC scholarship plus a cash prize to aid in starting their business ventures. Honorable mentions each receive a $100 cash prize.
List of winners:
Tied for first place: Joel Keneipp, Long Haul Auto & Equipment Repair (preventive maintenance auto repair shop); Dallas King, That's A Wrap, (gourmet wraps food truck)
Tied for second place: Crystal Bailey, Stone Drones Elite Aerial Services (aerial drone photography & services); Bryar Turner, Turner Urban Farms (livestock individual investment service)
3rd place winners: Hosanna Blanchard, Carolina Vintage Co. (repurposed jewelry designs); Patrice Gear, Store 2 Door (retail pick-up and delivery service); Brenda Moxley, Say it My Way! (digital printing for t-shirts, canvas, and more); Sarah Tucker, White Oak Films (videography service).
Honorable Mentions
Josiah Bennett, Cyclone Systems (intuitive weather station software); Kellie Crouse, A Moment's Paws (cat cuddling café and fostering/adoption service); Victoria George, New Beginnings (wedding catering and consulting service); Angela High, Leap High Into Learning (preschool); Sandra Jennings, Mousetrap Ink           (internal loss-prevention consulting); Melissa Ireson, Itsy Bitsy Spider Plants & More Store (greenhouse-grown houseplants); Felicia King, Herbally Relaxed Unisex Salon & Spa (full-service salon, nails, massage); Micheala Seepe              , Angel's Doodles & Poodles (designer dog breed service and sales); Lindsey Sigmon, Sigmon's Signature Service (custom monogram service); Jessica Andrews, Fur, Fins, and Feathers Taxidermy (taxidermy service).                                           
High School Category:
Tied for 1st place            
Lauren Jackson and Kelci Pool, Tunstall High School. “The Pitt” Pittsylvania youth recreation center

Andy Kong, Dan River High School, and Edward Blount, DCC. “CollDex” Digital monthly-rental textbook-subscription model.
YEA! Category (Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a program of the Danville-Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce):                                               
1st Jacanas Keene, Galileo - Naturally You (Organic skin care)
2nd Halle Vaden, Dan River Middle - The Halle Collection (Trendy and comfortable custom clothing)
2nd Olivia Morris, Dan River Middle - Graphics & More     (Graphic design, monogramming, etc.)
3rd Danasia Dickerson, Dan River Middle - Nasia Generation Clothing (Generational clothing)
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