Taproot Wins 2015 Seed Project
The Covenant community welcomed local residents to Brock Hall on April 21, 2015, for the fifth annual Seed Project Pitch Event. Three finalists pitched their business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges for the chance to win $10,000 in seed capital. At the end of the evening, Jacob Snuggs ’14 and his landscaping business, Taproot, were awarded the seed capital and the title of 2015 Seed Project winner.
Managed by Covenant’s Center for Calling & Career, the Seed Project seeks to foster and develop an entrepreneurial spirit among students at the College. The project provides students and alumni who graduated within the last year with the opportunity to develop real ideas and put them into action.
In addition to Taproot, two other Covenant students pitched their businesses to the seed capital panel. Maggie Walker ’15 pitched her wedding planning business, Maggie Walker Weddings. Roy Anderson ’15 and Hunter Brock ’15 pitched their online student-job networking platform, CoCoNet.
“I was really impressed by the quality of the business plans, especially seeing as how each presenter was still in college or a recent graduate,” said Michael Taft ’18.
Each of the three finalists grew and developed their business ideas over several months with the help of a business plan review committee. The committee included several alumni and a Covenant professor. Prof. Chris Dodson, chair of the business department at Covenant; Fredrick Doe, software engineering director for Chattanooga Publishing Company; Ian Goodman ’96, entrepreneur and consultant; John Huisman ’98, attorney at Huisman Law Firm; and Kimberly Hutchinson, president of Goldmark Services all served on the committee. With advice, help, and input from committee members, the three Seed Project finalists crafted and practiced their presentations in preparation for the Seed Project Pitch Event.
While the seed capital panel deliberated on Tuesday, Covenant alumnus and serial entrepreneur Enoch Elwell ’10 shared his story with the Seed Project audience. Recounting his journey through many successful entrepreneurial endeavors, Elwell encouraged listeners to follow their passions.
After much discussion, the seed capital panel awarded the $10,000 in seed capital to Jacob Snuggs and his business, Taproot.
“I’m very hopeful and confident that God is at work in Taproot,” said Snuggs. “Through the Seed Project work He really showed up and proved that He had His hand in this business.”
The seed capital panel included five distinguished judges: Will Dyer ’11, senior investment analyst at Unum; Lane Ford, VP of finance at Skuid; Rebekah Marr ’04, program strategist for Co.Starters; Rodger Piersant ’86, president of Displaycraft, Inc; and Tyler Siira, assistant treasurer for Unum.