Two Rider University undergraduate students were recently named finalists in the New Jersey Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year Competition. Andrew Westfall ’12 of Allentown, N.J., earned second place for his company Plutomic LLC. Stephen Johnston ’13 of White House Station, N.J., received third-place honors for his company, Tabhair Records & Music Publishing, LLC.
Westfall and Johnston, both students in the Entrepreneurial Studies program, competed against student entrepreneurs from universities and colleges across New Jersey, including Caldwell College student David Reeth, who received first-place honors for his Awesome Auto, LLC, a mobile detailing service business.
Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies was selected to host this year’s competition and held an awards banquet on May 4 to announce and recognize the first-, second- and third-place winners, which were selected by an independent set of judges. Evaluation criteria included entrepreneurial spirit, obstacles overcome, success of business, concern for quality and customer service and estimated potential for future success. Prizes included $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and a plaque for third place.
Westfall is the CEO and co-founder of Plutomic Hosting, LLC, a web solutions company specializing in cloud hosting and premium managed collocation. Found in June 2005, the Trenton-based company also has a primary data center in Philadelphia and works with customers from all over the globe.
Meanwhile, Johnston founded Tabhair Records & Music Publishing, LLC, in June 2011 as a student in Rider’s Entrepreneurial Studies program. The record label is involved in the production, distribution, and marketing of records of independent music acts. The publishing division handles copyrighting of songs, promotion and licensing of songs to other users. Tabhair (Tabhair means “give” in Irish Gaelic) represents the acoustic duo Beannacht, a two-time Jersey Acoustic Music award winner and 11-time nominee, which was named one of the Top Music Makers of 2011 by the Irish Voice newspaper in New York City. This summer, Johnston will be working to add one or two new acts to the label. Another goal for 2012 is to launch the Tabhair Foundation, a charitable organization.