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Nine Colby students will make their case for $15,000 in business start-up funds at the annual Colby College Entrepreneurial Alliance business competition on Saturday, April 26, at 2 p.m., in Ostrove Auditorium in the Diamond Building. The aspiring entrepreneurs will pitch ideas that include connecting women in Kenya to fair-trade marketplaces and creating mobile platforms for colleges to help their students navigate online information.

Students will be judged based on their demonstration that their project is ready for seed capital. Brief descriptions of the projects are online, and votes cast at colby.launcht.com prior to the event will play a role in the final decision, which will be made by a panel of active businesspeople. Winners will receive a check at the conclusion of the event.

Facebook Vice President Jeff Rothschild reviewed each of this year’s proposals in advance and provided feedback to the students. “I particularly enjoy the Colby Entrepreneurial Alliance competition because of the diverse nature of projects that are presented — from services targeted at students to those with a global social mission,” he said.

Previous winners of Colby’s business competition include the following:

  • Photons: Providers of affordable solar rechargeable lanterns in remote places of Zimbabwe (2013).
  • RentPrefs: An algorithm-based website to match renters with suitable available apartments (2012).
  • My Fresh Maine LLC: An e-commerce website for Maine-based food products and produce (2011).

Colby’s Entrepreneurial Alliance is a project of the Colby Career Center. Its aim is to educate and mentor Colby students on the principles of entrepreneurship. The organization works in partnership with Colby alumni and parents as well as the local community to prepare students for this business competition. Start-up capital comes from alumni supporters.

Founded in 1813, Colby College is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. Colby provides a rigorous academic program that fosters transformational relationships between students and faculty. Graduates emerge as leaders ready to make an impact on their world. Colby is committed to making the full experience accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their ability to pay. The College enrolls 1,825 students.