Power of Possibilities 3.0 Spring Summit a Success!

Over 100 local and regional attendees took part in the third annual Power of Possibilities (POP) Spring Entrepreneurship Summit held at Garrett College on April 28. The goal of the Summit, as for all of POP, is to build community and individual competencies and success around small business formation, small business success and the art and science of entrepreneurial thinking. POP is a key driver of cultural change and opportunity development for all in our community.

Over its three-year history, POP has engaged over 1,300 participants, 50 participating local businesses as mentors and sponsors, and through the annual POP Business Plan Competition, has also engaged 60 business plan competitors that have generated 30 new businesses plans for the area. According to Mike Tumbarello, Director of the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, “POP has had a significant and sustainable impact on our community. By demonstrating the possibilities available through entrepreneurial thinking and by helping new and existing business owners and managers build successful businesses, POP has emerged as a key component of our county’s economic development. We have literally been able to change people’s lives and impact their success.”

Attendees heard from local and national speakers. Some provided their start-up stories and tips for success, others shared their expertise in specific areas, such as web development, while others shared their experiences and best practices relative to community and business ecosystem development. Those in attendance also had the opportunity to work together to discuss and plan for some potential new businesses in the county, including a café, taxi service, a maker space and a skills clearinghouse for job seekers.

As always, the spring summit included the annual Power of Possibilities business plan competition awards luncheon, where winners of this year’s competition were announced. The third place award went to FIRST Team 1629 for their Lego spinner product effort; the second prize was awarded to Larry and Lana Roby for their unique BBQ sauce product that is already in-field. The first place winners, Chester and Trish Yoder won for their innovative “repurposing” of their farm for their Cider Haus concept. All came away with greater knowledge and with a honed, well-written business plan that will hopefully take their enterprise to commercial success.
“We feel blessed to have been a part of the POP Competition, as it really helped expedite our planning process and get us to market fast! Frankly, it helped us more than we ever imagined,” stated Larry Roby, second place winner and owner of Chef Larry Lee’s 2 Thick 2 Squeeze BBQ Sauce. Readers should look for additional articles on the POP Business Plan and on the upcoming Mountain Maker Fest in coming weeks.

Pictured below, Dr. Memo Diriker, seasoned entrepreneur and Executive Director of BEACON at Salisbury University, is pictured addressing the audience at the Power of Possibilities spring summit during his presentation, “Entrepreneurs: Are you a part of your community or apart from it?”



Pictured is Dr. Richard Midcap, President of Garrett College; Sarah Myers, co-director of POP; Trish Yoder, First Place Winner of the Power of Possibilities Business Plan Competition; Brenda Smith, Executive Director of The Greater Cumberland Committee; Mike Tumbarello, Director of the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and co-director of POP.
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