Rick England Evaluates Business Pitch Competition at Gallaudet University

There are approximately 28 million small businesses operating in the U.S. today, according to the Small Business Administration, and this number is on the rise.  More importantly, over half of all jobs in America can be attributed to the small business sector.  In other words, entrepreneurship and small companies are the backbone of American business.

To capture the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, Gallaudet University founded its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative in 2016 which now hosts an annual business pitch competition.  The competition aims to prepare students for evolving opportunities and challenges in starting a business. Madison’s Senior Wealth Advisor, Rick England, was honored to be one of five judges this year who evaluated students’ new business ideas at the competition.

Congratulations to this year’s winner, doctoral student and adjunct instructor, Kallissa Bailey, who won first place with her proposal for TopROPE, an exercise program. In partnership with Gallaudet, the program would include app scheduling and different ways to exercise and release stress.  The prize money will help to assist the winner with startup costs.

Gallaudet holds a unique role as the nation’s only university dedicated to teaching completely deaf or partially deaf students. The students at Gallaudet are often born deaf, or experience hearing loss early in life. Most of the faculty is deaf as well and all are required to be fluent in American Sign Language.

Rick became involved with Gallaudet through his father’s work there.  His father, Dick England, was a board of trustee member during his lifetime.  Mr. England related to the Gallaudet community as he had lost some hearing during the battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, and as he aged, his hearing profoundly deteriorated. Rick is very pleased to continue the family tradition to support for Gallaudet.

For more information on Gallaudet, please visit www.gallaudet.edu