Student ideas win big prizes


Courtesy of the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute

First-year culinary arts student Jordan Foley was one of eight entrepreneurs who showed off a start-up at Hawktrade, a virtual show sponsored by the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute.

Audrey Wais, Advertising Manager

Three AACC students won cash prizes for their Big Ideas in November. 

First-year culinary arts student Jordan Foley won first place and $1,250 in prize money for his nonprofit organization, Chow, a culinary school for veterans. 

Foley, a Naval Academy graduate, said he plans to add several food trucks to the business.  

“We started Chow to make it easier for veterans to transition from military service to civilian life,” Foley explained.  

Foley’s goal is to buy the trucks for veterans to operate.   

“With this [prize] money, Chow can begin its next developmental phase, the Chow mobile training unit,” Foley said. “It’s a program that teaches the ins and outs of the food truck industry while serving the community.”   

He added: “It’s [going to] supply over 1,000 meals to those in need, and it’s going to provide roughly 50 to 70 hours of training for veterans in the kitchen, so that’s an incredible amount of money that we’re going to do so much good with,” Foley added.   

The annual Big Idea competition is hosted by the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute. Business students pitch their business ideas to judges for the chance to win money.   

First-year entrepreneurial studies student Andrew Parr won second place and the Fan Favorite award for his idea to turn Annapolis into “a beer tourism destination.” 

“Beer is the answer to revitalize the tourism industry” of Annapolis, said Parr, who plans to use his $750 prize to earn a master brewing certification and said he would like to open a beer garden and a gay bar in Annapolis. 

Third-place winner Kirk Rookwood, an entrepreneurial studies student, won $250 to help him offer free, healthy meals from a food truck to low-income families. 

“Far too many families go hungry in America,” the owner of Racal Rx, a virtual and mobile cooking school, said.  

“Just dream big, I mean super big, and that’s what the big idea is all about,” Gene Deems, a previous Big Idea event judge who sponsored this year’s winners, advised. “And also, while you’re dreaming about your vision, just also think about making a difference in the world because there’s so much you can do.”