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Show Me the Money competition nets four SSU students $2500

Friday, December 13th, 2013 | Posted by


From left: student Casey Sullivan, Dean William Silver, student Nicole Griffith, student Kyle Mossman and student Maurice Mickel (courtesy of SSU)

From left: student Casey Sullivan, Dean William Silver, student Nicole Griffith, student Kyle Mossman and student Maurice Mickel (courtesy of SSU)

A group of four Sonoma State University students received $2,500 this week as part of Armand Gilinsky’s “Show Me the Money” competition.

A business professor at SSU, Gilinsky was awarded $15,000 earlier this year from the Green Music’ Center’s Academic Integration Grants. The goal of the Academic Integration program is to foster and showcase academic integration in creative ways among all of the areas of studies the college offers.

Gilinsky, who received the grant to create a certificate in Creative Arts and Digital Media Business, created the competition as a pilot for the cross-disciplinary collaboration his certificate would entail. Students of his Small Business and Entrepreneurship course  partnered with students and faculty from outside the business department to create innovative and entrepreneurial business plans.

“College is the time to do something really cool and not be afraid to fail,” said Gilinsky in a statement, noting that the projects’ requirement for interdisciplinary collaboration taught students how to foster creativity on the management side, and management expertise on the creative side.

“The idea of having non-business students learn from other students is valuable,” he said. “It’s a great way for business students to prove they’ve learned something; it’s the key to longevity.”

The teams presented their plans to a panel of judges in an Elevator Pitch Competition on Dec. 2 in the Green Music Center. The top five moved on to a final round on Monday, Dec 9.

The first place project was “VINdata,” a service for small to mid-sized wineries that offers customer tracking and technical support. It was created by Nicole Griffith, Kyle Mossman, Casey Sullivan and Maurice Mickel who received $2,500 for their efforts.

“Holy cow! We did it!” said winner Nicole Griffith after the competition.

“This was the greatest experience in my college career,” said Sullivan.

Second place, and a prize of $1,500, went to James Waggoner, Alan Chao and Mike Koricki who created an app that would help road cyclist plan their rides. The app is called “Cyclingroutes.com.”

The third place team won $1,000 for a plan of a solar panel cleaning company called, “Solar Sweepers.” That team was comprised of Romy Bonifacio, Tina Harris, David Castino and Erin Nelson.

Faculty advisors for the teams split a portion of the grant for their work. Ali Kooshesh, of the Computer Science Department, was the advisor for the winning team. Other advisors were Emily Acosta Lewis, Patrick Bailey, Paul Draper and Lynne Morrow.

So far the Green Music Center Board of Advisors has approved $97,450 of funding for several academic integration proposals for the 2013-2014 school year. The scope of projects is deliberately broad to allow the creation of proposals to go beyond simply using the Green Music Center as a standard lecture theatre.

“These projects encourage both faculty and students to look for novel and creative ways to integrate the arts with other disciplines in the university,” said Marne Olson in a statement, vice-chair of the board of advisors for the Green Music Center. “The ability to think outside the box is crucial.”

The process for grants is both open and competitive and included both tenured and tenure-tracked faculty.

“Ultimately, I hope this will begin to attract support for creative and performing arts management programs,” said Gilinsky. “It would make us a unique university.”


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Nick Walden is our Rohnert Park + Cotati correspondent.
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