Matt Newill, a sophomore at DePauw University, is a finalist in the "Most Promising Campus CEO" contest, which promises a first place prize worth more than $20,000.
The Zionsville native has implemented the First Class Laundry initiative on the DePauw campus. So far, the company has been a success on campus, offering students the opportunity to have their laundry cleaned at a competitive price.
The "Most Promising Campus CEO" contest, designed to recognize and reward talented student entrepreneurs, was launched by Dr. Randal Pinkett, author of the just-released "Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur's Guide To Launching a Multimillion Dollar Business."
Pinkett, currently the CEO of his own successful business, was a student entrepreneur himself in his time at Rutgers, MIT and Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. Additionally, Pinkett was the first African American winner of NBC's "The Apprentice."
Profiles of the nine finalists in the contest are available on www.campusceo.com now. Visitors to the site can vote on their favorite business or business idea now and the winners will be revealed in a live Web-based event at noon Wednesday, Feb. 27. The event is free and open to all who register at www.campusceo.com.
Newill's entry is First Class Laundry -- a delivery laundry business which picks up, washes, dries and returns clothes within 48 hours.
Newill, who has experience as a White House intern, told the BannerGraphic he learned about the contest from a friend's e-mail.
"I researched the business on websites and other successful entrepreneurs who have implemented the successful endeavor at other campuses," Newill said. "It has been a proven success on other campuses, and I believed that it could work here at DePauw."
Contest entries ranged from a mobile beauty salon to an internet retail store to a healthcare-focused business.
"It's exciting to see so many talented young people striving to build businesses and I'm thrilled to be able to bring attention to such a motivated group of entrepreneurs," Pinkett said. "The idea of becoming a student entrepreneur used to be radical, but today, it's a practical, appealing avenue for many students."
As the author of, "Campus CEO," Pinkett aims to share his experiences as an entrepreneur at Rutgers and now CEO of BCT Partners to help others cultivate their own entrepreneurial spirit.