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WCorrell CEPEWill Correll '13, ventured to Christopher Newport University in Norfolk, VA to participate in the entrepreneurship competition and incubator called Start! Peninsula. The incubator focuses on changing the way people in Hampton Roads and the Peninsula consider entrepreneurship by starting and building the potentially successful business ideas individuals bring forward. 

Fortunately for Will, he had something to offer the Hampton Roads incubator. His recent progress on launching a hard-cider brewery was the focus for the weekend. He quickly advanced through the first, one-minute lightning round of initial judging. Of the 65 people in the first "hot seat" round, only nine others advanced. 

The ten, second round, participants were grouped with mentors, investors and other entrepreneurs to work and build a plan to present for final judging. Will listed some of the professionals that he was teamed up with and what it was like: "I was definitely excited to have such cool, experienced people on my team; I worked with a former NASA contractor, an industrial engineer, a web developer, and other serial entrepreneurs - even the guy who made the app Zombie Tag." 

The weekend was long: 60 hours of work over three days, in fact. Will initially had expressed low expectations for success at the event, but was planning on maximizing this chance at learning experience - at the least, he was happy the CEPE paid his expenses. Once he got into the thick of it, however, his competitive spirit and work ethic took over, and hours later he would be named one of three winners.

His successes in this event as a non-tech company also become noteworthy - mostly tech-oriented companies like the two other victors win these events.  Will was awarded a prize of $10,000 from an investor because of his work. Start! Peninsula events are held each March. For more information on students and adults attending the event you can visit http://www.startpeninsula.com/, and hopefully we will see you and other H-SC students there too!


CEPE Morton Hall P.O. Box 823 Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943