Saturday, July 20, 2024

Louisiana Tech Business Students Shine in Annual Top Pup Competition

by BIZ Magazine

Ruston, LA – Team Harmony Brew emerged as the victor in the 2024 Top Pup competition, an entrepreneurial pitch event designed exclusively for first-year students in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business. This competition aims to foster early exposure to entrepreneurship and startup methodologies among students.

Harmony Brew Wins First Place

Marketing majors Conor Montalbano and Peyton Muse collaborated to create Harmony Brew, a protein coffee brand designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and positive energy in busy environments. The duo’s innovative idea and well-developed business plan secured them the top prize.

“Harmony Brew started as a passion project,” said Montalbano. “I pitched it to one of my good friends, and it wound up being something more than an idea. I’ve always been a coffee drinker, but as my lifestyle became more and more active, I stopped drinking it because it wasn’t giving me the satisfaction it used. In that, I came up with protein coffee, a solution to all of your energy and hunger needs.”

Muse highlighted the rigorous process they underwent throughout the year. “Researching and moving a project along for almost an entire academic year was a test of work balance for me. This product specifically encouraged us to place a lot of focus on research, reaching out across Ruston to ask for local opinions. However, with opinions come critiques, so learning how to always build and make criticism productive was a valuable piece of Top Pup. I am truly grateful for this experience.”

Other Notable Teams

The second-place accolade went to Bubbles for Bulldogs, a laundry service concept tailored for Tech students. The team comprised computer information systems major Jessica Ramsay and marketing major Honesty Poland. “We came up with Bubbles for Bulldogs because many college students struggle to balance the challenges and responsibilities involved with moving out of home for the first time,” said Ramsay. Poland added, “The experience of participating in Top Pup taught me how a business idea or thought can turn into much more. In addition to improving my public speaking skills, I learned the value of teamwork and receiving and implementing feedback from others.”

The third-place team, UNI-RIDE, proposed a dorm-to-class ride-sharing service. Team members included computer information systems major Elleigh Smith, finance major Shawn Staggs, and biomedical engineering major Seth Stanley.

A special judges award was given to marketing major Valerie Chatellier for her concept, Scoot Dawg, an electric scooter company designed for the Tech campus.

Course and Competition Impact

Each undergraduate student in the College of Business is required to take “Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship,” a course that serves as the foundation for all eight business majors and introduces students to entrepreneurship, one of the College’s core themes.

“As someone curious about being an entrepreneur, the inner workings of business fascinate me,” said Montalbano. “This experience showed me how intricate every piece of a business is, from the financials to the marketing. I learned a lot from the Top Pup experience, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in it.”

The competition awarded more than $11,000 in scholarship funds to the winning teams, thanks to the generosity of alumni Matt and Catherine Saurage and Just Business Giving Society donors.

The annual Top Pup competition continues to be a cornerstone event for Louisiana Tech’s College of Business, nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

For more information about the College of Business and its programs, visit www.business.latech.edu.

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