Five Finalists Selected in Churchill Mortgage’s Young Entrepreneur Contest

  Five Finalists Selected in Churchill Mortgage’s Young Entrepreneur Contest

 -Finalists to pitch business idea for final time to win $35,000 in cash and

Business Wire

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- February 19, 2013

Churchill Mortgage has named the top five finalists of the Young Entrepreneur
contest, who will now pitch his or her business idea for a final time on
Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Based on these final presentations, one winner will be selected to win more
than $35,000 in cash and prizes, including a one-year E|Spaces membership, an
opportunity to attend Dave Ramsey’s weeklong “EntreLeadership Master Series”
workshop, and ongoing strategic guidance from Churchill’s senior management
team and other local business professionals. The winner will also receive a
three-month course at Entrepreneur Center in Nashville, a non-profit
organization that helps start businesses and create jobs through the support
of leading corporations and other successful entrepreneurs.

Those selected to participate in the final round include:

Listen Up

Mykas Degesys, Founder

Listen Up is a Spotify and web-based App that helps fans keep track of their
favorite artists, lets them participate in promotions where they can win
exclusive items and has a social component that allows them to track other
fans of the same artists. The back-end data analytics helps artists understand
their fan base on a deeper level. Founded by both Mykas Degesys and Ben Fruin,
Listen Up’s goal is to help artists make money by increasing concert
attendance and deepening engagement among fans. The two business partners
first formulated the idea while taking a music business course together at
Vanderbilt’s business school. For more information, visit or

“Spotify is one of the greatest music discovery vehicles of our time,” said
Fruin. “The rise of third party Apps has created numerous opportunities to
explore vast musical landscapes, while sharing these experiences in a social

“Listen Up is at the cutting edge of the music industry,” Degesys added. “The
Young Entrepreneur Contest has been a tremendous platform to share our ideas.
It’s been an exciting journey.”


Patrick J. Woodyard, Founder and CEO and Nick Meyer, VP of Sales

Through the sale of handmade, quality-driven footwear products, Nisolo is
redefining what success means today. Each product is a unique work of art that
exemplifies the beauty and diligence of its maker. Nisolo's goal is to empower
talented artisans in the developing world, allowing them to shape their future
by way of their extraordinary work. For more information, please visit or Facebook.

“We are incredibly thankful for Churchill Mortgage and the city of Nashville
for the support that Nisolo has already been offered,” said Woodyard. “Without
a remarkable home base, our vision to build a world-class lifestyle and
footwear brand and empower impoverished artisans around the world would be
impossible to fulfill.”

Spanish Lessons with Emily D

Emily Daniel, Owner and Founder

Spanish Lessons with Emily D’s goal is to teach the Spanish language in an
applicable, flexible and enjoyable way to children and adults, personalized to
each student’s language level, learning needs and personality. For more
information, visit or Facebook.

“After teaching Spanish in a classroom at different schools, I realized a
significant focus and pressure on meeting state standards – memorizing verb
conjugations and inapplicable vocabulary,” said Daniel. “Unfortunately, after
years of studying many students are left unable to speak Spanish
conversationally; therefore, I saw a need for a different approach. Since our
founding in 2011, we’ve experienced tremendous success, and being named a
finalist by proven, successful business professionals and other entrepreneurs
is an absolute honor. I can't thank Churchill Mortgage enough for giving young
entrepreneurs this amazing opportunity for growth and mentoring.”

Sweet Meat Jerky

George Livingston, Founder

Sweet Meat Jerky is a new and upcoming company, introducing a healthy, rich
snack. Its beef jerky is made with organic ingredients and contains absolutely
no preservatives or additives. For more information, visit or Facebook.

“On the eve of our final year in college, we began questioning our purpose in
the world,” said Livingston. “Having spent the previous four years studying
Finance and Economics, we recognized that we were entrepreneurs at heart.
Craving a change of pace, we began to search for inspiration and have since
tirelessly re-engineered beef jerky to create an organic product that is
delicious and healthy. We’re thrilled that our vision and hard work have paid
off and look forward to the final round of the contest.”

The PictureBooth Co.

Ross Chandler Hill, Founder and CEO

PictureBooth’s mission is to provide high quality photo booths for events at
an affordable price. Unique within the marketplace, PictureBooth features
on-site editing capabilities as well as social media integration, enabling
customers to quickly share pictures on his or her social networking sites like
Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. For more information, visit or Facebook.

“Having spent the last five years in the event industry, I quickly realized a
demand for affordable photo booths,” said Hill. “With PictureBooth, consumers
not only have a lower-cost option, but one that meets today’s social media
demands. I’m honored to share my ideas with esteemed business leaders and
entrepreneurs of Nashville, and look forward to my final pitch.”

“The quality and uniqueness of these final business ideas are outstanding,”
said Mike Hardwick, president and founder of Churchill Mortgage. “We’re
excited for each of the individuals and have no doubts they will all be
successful, regardless of the contest’s outcome. With bright futures ahead,
Emily, George, Mykas, Patrick and Ross have proven to be true entrepreneurs
and possess the skills necessary to support economic growth across Middle
Tennessee. I look forward to their final presentations.”

About Churchill Mortgage

Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage is a prominent and financially sound
leader in the mortgage industry, providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA
residential mortgages across 26 states. Unique within the industry, it is the
only mortgage lender endorsed by nationally syndicated radio personality and
personal finance expert and author, Dave Ramsey. Through its consultative
approach to lending and strong commitment to local communities, the lender
focuses on the right loan product for each borrower, providing the education
and tools necessary to ensure borrowers’ financial stability. For more
information about Churchill Mortgage, visit or
follow them on Twitter @ChurchillMtg and Facebook at


For Churchill Mortgage
Mary York Cox, 678-781-7217
Michael Touchton, 678-781-7215
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