Alvernia students win business challenge


Alvernia business students Beth Stepien, Carolin De La Cruz and Justin Gibbs won first place in the 2017 Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce New Business Idea Competition, this April.

Thirty ideas were submitted by students from each of the colleges and universities in Berks County. After an initial round of judging, seven student business ideas were selected as finalists.

Finalists presented their ideas in a 'Shark Tank" format before a panel of eight judges from area businesses and development organizations.

The Alvernia winners, members of Kathleen Nevel's entrepreneurship class, offered a business idea called "A Pet's Hotel," which offers customers an opportunity to bring pets with them on vacation. The concept is a kennel free care center with open spaces for animals to roam and enjoy. The business would be connected to hotel and travel agent reservation planning.

When customers make reservations with a hotel or travel agent, A Pet’s Hotel would be notified of the animal and the duration of stay. Initially, the business would be located near their hotel partners in the Miami Beach area.

Travelers' pets would go for walks, be fed and receive other essential needs. There would be choices for customers to bring their own food, bedding and other supplies — or have those items provided by A Pet’s Hotel. Additional items would be available to purchase at a retail boutique.

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