The Community Kitchen Wins NU’s $10,000 Entrepreneurship Competition
The winner of Niagara University’s first-ever poverty-focused social entrepreneurship competition is The Community Kitchen.
The student team of Maggie Hempel, Mackenzie Kutzuba and Victoria Swider were chosen by a panel of esteemed guest judges Monday afternoon to gain access to up to $10,000 in startup funds as part ofEntrepreNU2015. The team will use the funds to commence implementation of its plan to provide food access and education to low-income residents in Niagara Falls.
Hempel, Kutzuba and Swider’s proposal was chosen over that of two other student teams by a panel that included Congressman Brian Higgins, Niagara Falls (USA) Mayor Paul Dyster, Field & Fork Network executive director Lisa Tucker, Sodexo general manager Deirdre Bartholomew and prominent local businessman Craig Avery.
Each of the three finalists was allotted 10 minutes to explain its business pitch, followed by a Q-and-A session with the panelists. The teams were scored on a five-category rubric by the judges.
“We were very impressed by the ambition and hard work of all nine students who presented today,” noted Tucker moments before announcing the winner. “At the end of the day, we felt that The Community Kitchen had the best chance of hitting the ground running.”