The Seed Project
Managed by the Center for Calling & Career, the Seed Project initiative encourages students to develop ideas amongst their peers and with the guidance of Covenant College faculty and staff, mentors from their local churches and home churches, and other personal contacts. The Center for Calling & Career serves as the coordinator and connector to advice, contacts, and other resources.
Students develop ideas, form teams, and build and submit business plans. A committee composed of Covenant College faculty, staff, alumni, and other friends of the College reviews the business plans and offers feedback. Each team is then given the opportunity to revise and resubmit their business plan for a second review by the committee.
Teams whose business plans earn approval will have the opportunity to present their ideas and plans to a separate panel of judges. This seed capital panel serves as the ultimate authority to grant (or not grant) $10,000 in seed money to a single team.
Past Winners of the Seed Project
2013: Jacob Hutcherson ’13
Jacob Hutcherson ’13 won the third annual Seed Project with his business, ProFootballSpot.com. Pro Football Spot is an online forum for NFL fans that is expanding to ultimately include creative content. Jacob is excited to put the $10,000 seed capital to work for his business and is thankful for the knowledge he gained through participating in the Seed Project. “The Seed Project helped me narrow down all my thoughts into a distinct plan,” says Jacob. “I tend to have a lot of big ideas, but this process helped add structure and clarity to those ideas.”
2012: Paul Walters ’13
Paul Walters ’13 won the $10,000 to invest in Redwood Sound, his live sound and concert production company. In addition to the seed money, Paul highly values the lessons he learned throughout the process. “The work I did to prepare pro forma for the business plan helped me to better understand the financial elements of my business,” he says. Paul has helped produce shows for bands such as U2, Motley Crue, and Mumford & Sons. His business continued to grow throughout the summer months, and Paul looks forward to further expanding once he graduates in May 2013.
2011: Isaiah Smallman '11 and Drew Belz '10
At the inaugural Seed Project, Drew Belz ’10 and Isaiah Smallman ’11 won the $10,000 with their business plan for Fancy Rhino, a video strategy firm. Drew says that going through the Seed Project “allowed us to be heads up, to see a little bit further, and realize the potential for business in Chattanooga."
Recent Fancy Rhino projects have won ADDY awards, and the business continues to grow as part of Lamp Post Group, a small venture incubator and venture capital firm based in Chattanooga. Fancy Rhino currently employs eight staff members and 2 interns.