MGA Students Produce Startup Plans for Knights Business Battle

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 12:00 AM
Categories: School of Business | Pressroom

Macon, GA

L-R are Dr. Simone Phipps, Joseph Kiefer, Patrick Comiskey, Lee Jump, and Dr. Kenny Holt, School of Business dean.

The 4th annual Knights Business Battle, a competition that gives Middle Georgia State University students the opportunity to present business plans before a panel of judges, produced award-winning ideas for a fitness center, restaurant, and bed-and-breakfast.

First place and $500 went to Lee Jump, for his Crossfit Half-Blood plan. Second place and $250 went to Joseph Kiefer for his Luke's Place restaurant plan. Third place and $125 went to Patrick Comiskey for his Appalachian Inn bed-and-breakfast plan.

Dr. Simone Phipps, associate professor of Management in MGA's School of Business, coordinated the competition, which took place November 2 before these judges:

  • J. R. McNair, who is considered one of the nation's foremost small business experts. He and his team have assisted over 4,200 small businesses. In the fall of 2016, McNair founded The Velocity Accelerator, a Georgia-based startup accelerator. McNair also founded the Georgia Crowdfund, Inc., a Georgia-based non-profit that helps to support thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide through a myriad of initiatives.
  • Nadia Osman, manager of workforce and business development for the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. She directs initiatives focused on developing entrepreneurs and growing small businesses, including the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), which teaches middle and high school students how to launch their own business. She also hosts the Creative Catalyst show on The Creek 100.9 FM, an independent radio station based in Macon.
  • Trudy Lawrence, program voordinator at the Macon office of the Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She has over 15 years of experience in retail management and buying, as well as more than 12 years of experience as executive director for several non-profit education programs.
  • Dr. Julie Steen, assistant professor of Marketing at Middle Georgia State University. She has been teaching marketing, entrepreneurship, and business courses for the last 20 years. Steen has started several businesses and has owned her most successful venture, Express Yourself, since November 2003.

Here are additional details on the students' business plans:

  • Lee Jump, Crossfit Half-Blood: CrossFit Half-Blood will be located in Cochran, Ga., and is an affiliate of CrossFit, which gives license to qualified instructors and gym owners to operate under its umbrella in the pursuit of fitness on a global scale. By using the CrossFit name, Jump will be able to use its already established reputation to promote his training and programming in the realm of functional fitness. The biggest value that he will provide for customers is the individual guidance and customizable programming, and he intends to forge a fitness community that extends beyond the walls of his gym and into their everyday lives.
  • Joseph Kiefer, Luke’s Place: Luke’s Place is a startup restaurant featuring contemporary American style cuisine that will be located in Houston County, Ga. Luke’s Place was created with family in mind offering a park-like setting serving great American cuisine, a variety of craft beers, desserts and more. It is a place where kids can play in a secured fenced-in venue on a sports turf field, and the parents can visit with their favorite beverages.
  • Patrick Comiskey, Appalachian Inn: The Appalachian Inn will be a high-end bed and breakfast lodge, operated by a couple committed to sharing their North Georgia mountain home with guests and pets. The purpose of the inn is to provide a multi-night retreat for hard-driven citizens who want to take a break from the stress of city life. The retreat will offer guests an opportunity to experience the charms of mountain rural life.