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Students win $7,000 in Capital One challenge

Four ambitious OLLU students used a blast of trumpets from an unconventional Mariachi band to win the second annual Entrepreneurship Challenge and a $7,000 cash prize from Capital One Bank.

The student group, “Forever Young Marketing,” ended its presentation in Main 311 by allowing its first client -- “Mariachi Nuevo Estilo” -- to perform before a panel of judges. The band blended traditional Mariachi with rap and pop to produce a unique sound that wowed the judges -- just as it did on “America’s Got Talent” in July.

In December, Elda Barajas of “Forever Young Marketing” offered her company’s services to “Mariachi Nuevo Estilo” for free on a trial basis. The band loved the marketing deal and returned the favor by performing at the Entrepreneurship Challenge.

“I’m excited,” said Barajas, a marketing major. “We worked very hard for this.”

Three judges from Capital One Bank and Accion Texas declared “Forever Young Marketing” the best of three student group presentations. The $7,000 prize is seed money the company will use to buy equipment and grow. Barajas has three student business partners: Larry Lopez, Stephanie Paz and Jasmine Arroyo.

A custom decal and sticker company, “Slap Tagz,” won second place and $4,000. The student group is comprised of Sam Wolf, Paul Morales and John Hernandez.

ACTZ Clothing Company, which makes customized t-shirts and jackets, finished third and will collect $1,000.
ACTZ is comprised of Yared Temesgen, Taon Clark, Jason Zerda and Zach Adams.

OLLU’s School of Business and Leadership partnered with Capital One Bank and Accion Texas to create the Entrepreneurship Challenge, a program that pairs students with successful mentors from the business world. The mentors help students create and start their own businesses.

The program is run through two courses taught by Kathryn Winney, assistant professor of accounting. OLLUPrints, a business that provides t-shirt printing services to the OLLU community, won the first Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2013.