Friday 8, 2011
MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University MBA student Robert Johnson of Negaunee was the top competitor at the 2011 NMU New Business Venture Competition, which concluded Thursday (April 7) with the awarding of $9,000 in prizes.

Johnson’s new business, Prometheus Tree, is a mobile application development and marketing firm. He won $500 in the categories of best 60-second elevator speech and trade fair display, as well as the top prize of $4,000 for first place for the best business plan presentation. 

Second place and a $2,500 prize in the business plan category went to sophomore Sondra Troup of Kalkaska and junior Skye Davidson of Roseville for Intertwined, a beauty and fashion accessories salon. Both Troup and Davidson are associate degree business majors. Third place and a $1,500 award went to Protectski, protective boxes and bags for skis, presented by seniors Martin Stuge Banerud of Oslo, Norway and Ingrid Fjeldheim of Marquette. Banerud and Fjeldheim are members of the NMU Nordic ski team. Banerud is a construction management major who is also enrolled in the MBA program, and Fjeldheim is a biology major.

The other two finalists were junior Matthew Quintana of Menominee for Boreas Wind Survey, a wind energy firm, and senior Clarice Marjaniemi of Marquette for U.P. Pellets, a renewable energy company. Both received $200 finalist prizes. Quintana is majoring in media production and new technologies and Marjaniemi in entrepreneurship.

This is the fourth year NMU’s College of Business has held the competition. The yearlong event begins in October with the submission of business ideas. Northern is one of only two schools in Michigan to offer entrepreneurship as a major, although the competition is open to all students regardless of their degree program.

Cindy Paavola
Director of Communications