Stillman Professor Susan Scherreik, Alissa Lopez and NJIT Professor Michael Ehrlich of the Innovation Acceleration Center.
M.B.A. student Alissa Lopez won first place in the NJIT New Business Model Competition. She received a $3,500 stipend and placement in NJIT's summer accelerator program. Lopez, who is an M.B.A. student specializing in marketing, won for her startup idea Sincere Sitter, which is a website aimed at connecting caregivers and parents and is in part a result of Lopez's own experiences as a nanny for eight years.
"Sincere Sitter connects caregivers and parents through personal networks and offers exclusive training/ reviews for both to ensure positive child care experiences," said Lopez.
The competition was open to Newark-area university students and the finalists were selected from a large group of applicants. At the event, Lopez competed against seven other finalists from area schools such as NJIT, Rutgers and New Jersey City University.
"Alissa's outstanding performance is a big compliment to the quality of Stillman students and reflects well on both Stillman and our entrepreneurship education program," said Susan Scherreik, director of the Stillman School's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Lopez shared, "Winning a competition for your startup idea is extremely validating. Sure, you think you have a great idea and your friends and family might agree, but for a team of experienced judges to believe enough in your startup to support you professionally and financially feels amazing." She added, "Professor Susan Scherreik, my advisor and constant motivator, helped me to create a pitch that was equally as entertaining as it was informative, providing everything investors would want to know."
Lopez is expected to graduate with her M.B.A. in May 2019 and is currently a graduate assistant for the College of Nursing. She is also a recipient of an entrepreneurship scholarship from the Stillman School. "Seton Hall is a reputable school that really supports its students through scholarships and other resources, something that is extremely important to me as a student who works to finance my education," said Lopez.
In addition, she has been able to fulfill her dream of studying abroad by crowdfunding for a "Doing Business in India" course. This past summer she secured a very competitive internship with Stryker Orthopedics, in the Foot and Ankle, Trauma & Extremities division – the world's leading provider of foot and ankle products.
A go-getter, Lopez has even started raising seed capital for her startup. "If it wasn't for Professor Scherreik, the Stillman School of Business and all of its support, I wouldn’t be the entrepreneur I am becoming."