North Star Games
Wins Cupid’s Cup
Under Armour’s Kevin Plank Awards $10K Prize
company North Star Games took home the big check and the big
trophy cup at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s first
Cupid’s Cup business competition May 19. Under Armour Chief
Executive Kevin Plank ’96 put up the $10,000 prize and helped
pick the winner from five finalist alumni-run startups.
North Star Games, founded by 2004 MBA graduates Dominic Crapuchettes
and Satish Pillalamarri, incubated in the Dingman Center and
has sold thousands of copies of its award-winning games, “Cluzzle”
and “Wits and Wagers.” The business partners are set on producing
a blockbuster board game and will use the prize money to help
introduce a new card game.
“This event has given us a significant amount of exposure
and will help pique professional investors’ interest in our
company,” Crapuchettes said.
Other finalists in the closely decided competition, narrowed
from 20 applicants, were teen-oriented T-shirt company Crooked
Monkey, interactive Web map software maker Geocentric, beer
brewer Hook & Ladder Brewing Co., and collegiate jewelry maker
Dayna Designs. Each team had eight minutes to present a business
plan before five judges and a sizable crowd in Van Munching
Hall’s Frank Auditorium.
A lunch conversation between Plank and Dingman Center Director
Asher Epstein sparked the competition, named for Plank’s early
venture as a Smith student—a rose delivery business he called
Plank founded his athletic apparel company in his grandmother’s
basement while still a Smith student and has grown it into a
successful publicly traded company. He encouraged entrepreneurs
to determine their passions, create a vision, and assemble great
people to grow successful businesses.
“You’ve got to keep your business going, whatever it takes,”
Plank said. —CT