By UNH Today
In high school, JP DiTommaso ’15 took classes in entrepreneurship and management to explore his aspirations to launch a business. When he came to campus last spring, he learned about the inaugural College of Business Scholarship Challenge that offered incoming students the chance to win a full, four-year scholarship – worth more than $120,000 – for developing the best business idea.
“I saw the Scholarship Challenge as an excellent opportunity to express my passion for entrepreneurship by developing my own business concept,” said DiTommaso, a business management and sports management double major.
He spent weeks developing the concept for Turf-Guise, which would treat artificial turf so it would smell like real grass and include an anti-bacterial agent to kill germs. He was one of four students awarded full scholarships to UNH.
“It was not only rewarding to know that my tuition would be paid for, but it helped me realize my potential for success in the business world,” he said.
The Scholarship Challenge continues this year. Incoming students accepted to the College of Business have until Friday, March 15, to design a Facebook page for a business idea they have developed and submit a three-page business plan. As part of the project, they will have to define what the business is, what it does, why it is unique, why it is needed, who the competition might be and how it will be positioned to achieve and sustain long-term success. Up to four entrants will each earn a four-year tuition scholarship, and 20 runners-up will be awarded iPads.
“We’re looking to discover and nurture students who have the potential to become future leaders in the business world, as many UNH College of Business alumni already have done,” said Dean Elizabeth Davis. “The Scholarship Challenge competition seeks students who have a passion for entrepreneurship, which the college emphasizes.”
In addition to his making the Dean’s list and competing as a member of the men’s soccer team, DiTommaso continues to develop his business idea. He is collaborating with professors and members of the turf industry and believes the idea is on track to be market-ready in the next several years.
“I am willing to invest time and effort into the business idea in order to establish the company and see that it becomes successful,” he said. “As a young businessman, I hope this will be the start of many more entrepreneurial opportunities.”
Another winner was last year’s competition, Daniel Kiley ’16, a management major, said the experience was life-changing. He designed the “Ultimate Sports Complex and Resort,” a 24-hour facility that would be the “Disneyland of sports” with indoor and outdoor facilities for hockey, basketball, bowling, track and other sports, and feature more than 1,000 rooms in an adjacent hotel.
“After hearing the news, I called my mother and she started to cry,” said Kiley, who earned a spot on the Dean’s list at the end of the fall semester. “I was such a great moment for my whole family.
To enter, prospective students must first visit the Scholarship Challenge Facebook page. A brief overview of the contest can be found along with full contest rules, as well as the process for submitting an application. Winners will be announced on March 26.