Senior marketing and entrepreneurship majors, Alex Spease and Lindsey Neidinger won third place in the State System Startup Challenge for their business idea, Aloe & Ivy Greenhouse and More. 

The State System Startup Challenge provides students attending one of the 14 state-owned universities the opportunity to compete for prize money to support their innovative ideas. Spease and Neidinger placed third out of 32 business proposals, resulting in a $2,500 prize for future investment in their startup. 

Neidinger expressed, “I was very excited to receive third place. Alex and I spent many months working on our business plan, and we were able to develop our idea into something that we are very proud of.” 

According to Spease, “Aloe & Ivy is essentially a build a bear, but for plants!” They pitched their greenhouse as a one-stop shop for people to enjoy the “build-your-own” plant experience or to purchase a pre-made arrangement. At Aloe and Ivy, “people create living products they can be responsible for,” said Neidinger 

Spease and Neidinger proposed launching this business in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but plan to establish their careers in the marketing field first. Neidinger said, “regardless of the career paths we take, we will be creative, open-minded, innovative, motivated and passionate workers.” 

The seniors expressed their appreciation for one professor in particular who provided assistance on this challengeSpease said, Dr. Shelley Morrisette was a tremendous help for Lindsey and me, not only specifically with Aloe & Ivy, but also with all our entrepreneurship classes.”  

Neidinger considers Dr. Morrisette an excellent mentor and professor,” helping them to develop as “entrepreneurial thinkers and young professionals. 

Spease and Neidinger make Ship proud by representing the university state-wide, and by displaying their spirit of innovation and creativity.