Scottsdale resident takes first in Newark Innovation Challenge

Selene Presseller, on right, during the Newark Innovation Challenge (submitted photo)

Selene Presseller, on right, during the Newark Innovation Challenge (submitted photo)

Seton Hall University Stillman School of Business student Selene Presseller was selected as a winner at the Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge held on Dec. 1 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Fellow Stillman School of Business student, Shaaliyah Lyons, was also named as a finalist.

The Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge is an annual competition for budding entrepreneurs hosted by NJIT and sponsored by Capital One and Sterling Medical, according to a press release.

Ms. Presseller and Ms. Lyons were among eight finalists for the Innovation Acceleration Fellowship, chosen from a competitive pool of Newark-area college students after submitting their initial business idea proposals to prepare and present a 10-minute pitch at the challenge.

Ms. Presseller was one of the winners awarded $3,000 in seed money to continue to develop her business idea and will participate in the 10-week NJIT Summer Lean Innovation Accelerator Program.

“It was a great honor for Seton Hall to be invited for the first time to participate in the challenge,” stated Professor Susan Scherreik, founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, in the release. “We are so proud of Selene and Shaaliyah for representing us.”

Ms. Presseller, of Scottsdale, is a senior marketing and information technology management major who created

“My business idea is a mash up of WebMD and Angie’s List for horses. It is a website and app that is going to help horse owners to make early diagnosis of aches and illnesses to help them take better care of their horses, while also saving them money by avoiding unnecessary calls to the vet,” stated Ms. Presseller in the release.

She credits the Stillman School of Business and its faculty for providing her with the opportunity to compete in the challenge and for teaching her the skills necessary to succeed in it.

“Professor Scherreik has served as a mentor to me since freshman year,” she stated in the release. “She has connected me with other Stillman School of Business alumni and mentors who have helped me to fine tune my business plan over the last three years. She even provided me with feedback leading up to the challenge and was there to support me on the day of the event.”

As part of winning, Ms. Presseller will participate in the Lean Innovation Accelerator Program this summer.

“I strongly believe that my 10 weeks with the fellowship will help me grow as a professional and an individual. I know that the skills that I gain will serve me greatly in my future and for that I am so grateful for this experience.”

Ms. Lyons, of Jackson, N.J., is a junior sport management major who is also pursuing a certificate in entrepreneurial studies.

Her idea, Together We Conquer Life Skills Basketball Camp, is a program meant to inspire young athletes to strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives by providing access to an exceptional network of accomplished mentors, enhancing academic skills and developing athletic ability.

“The Stillman School of Business has prepared me for managing Together We Conquer. For example, learning cell reference in Excel made editing my budget much easier,” stated Ms. Lyons in the release. “I look forward to next semester to see how the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies can help me in further developing my business idea.”

Ms. Lyons has big plans for the future. She expects to launch her basketball camp this summer and expand it in the coming years.

“The idea of getting up in front of an audience and pitching your idea is a terrific experience for entrepreneurs,” stated Professor Scherreik in the release. “At the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, we encourage all of our students to participate in Pirates Pitch and other collegiate contests.”

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