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Press Release

Metro State’s Center for Innovation Honors 2010 Entrepreneurs

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136

Posted: April 28, 2010

(Denver, Colo.) — The Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State College of Denver recognized 15 finalists for entrepreneurial excellence at its annual Innovation Challenge and Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by the Community Financial Services Association of America Award Ceremony held April 15.

The event included a keynote address from Willie Greene, Director of Community Relations & Corporate Outreach for Advance America, and former Denver Bronco wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos during the 1997-98 seasons. Greene spoke of the importance of hard work, building relationships and integrity needed for long-term business success.

“Our students have the passion for their projects, but our program provides the needed structure to help individuals focus their creative thinking into a viable business strategy,” said Mick Jackowski, Center for Innovation director.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by the Community Financial Services Association of America winners are: Alumnus Faye Zandi for Zandi K Hair and Skin Studio, Student Jesse Altum for JA Fashion and Altum Innovations, and Student Patrick Ortell for ION Design.

The Innovation Challenge III winners in the Metro State students and alumni business plan category are: first place Jessica Lipsey for Tivoli Tea, second place Brian Nelson for Eureka Painting and third place Michael Murphy for Clear Creek FotoGrafix. Winners in the Metro State student idea challenge category are: first place Jesse Altum for Hepa Light 1020; second place Jennifer Kaye for Smart Phone Seismic App; third place Matthew Terry for Multi-Tower Work Station.

The high school business plan category winners included students from Denver Venture School and Sheridan High School. Winners in the student business plan are: first place Darren King Jr. for Kings Essential Services; second place Paula Santana, Michael Trujillo, NgocHuyen Bui for Sheridan H.S. Cybercafé; third Stuart Clayton for SHS Cybercafé. Winners in the student idea challenge are: first place Kenny Halbert, Jorge Linares, Woyneshet Kirkos for ARFIE; second place Mercedes Powell, A’yeisha Lozada for Dynamic Trio; third place Tessa Chapman, Jerald Maestas, Malisse Ros, Rosalio Pimentel for Extendilettos.


About Center for Innovation

Center for Innovation offers a minor in entrepreneurship or a certificate in entrepreneurship that go beyond mainstream business curriculum. The Center supports all types of industry disciplines with nearly 40 different majors represented in the program. Coursework is taught by Metro State affiliate facility, providing real-world experience from relationships with businesses and organizations in the area. The Center offers $1,000 micro-loans and coaching for students and community members working to grow small businesses. For more information visit

About Metropolitan State College of Denver

With more than 23,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans, and is one of the largest four-year public colleges in the nation. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 66,000 alumni, with the bulk of them remaining in Colorado after graduation.