NMU student Panek wins ‘Big Pitch’

Bazile Panek, who presented “NIIM,” was the Business Plan Winner as well as the Big Pitch Winner in the recent Northern Michigan University student business competition. (Photo courtesy of NMU)

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University student Bazile Panek won the written business plan and business plan presentation — the Big Pitch — in the April 8 virtual “Big Pitch” competition.

The Crowd Favorite winner was Jimmy Flom with 60.2% of the vote.

The competition is an opportunity for NMU students, either individually or in teams of up to five, to submit their plans for a new business and compete for cash prizes and business counseling services.

The following excerpts highlight each of the four competitors’ business ideas:

Panek, “NIIM”“Niim sells socks adorned with traditional Indigenous designs by Indigenous artists, giving our customers a fun avenue to appreciate Indigenous art and our artists an avenue for their art to appear on physical pieces,” Panek said. “There is currently a lack of representation of Indigenous people within our society today.”

Flom, “The Burger Boat”“Imagine a beautiful summer day, and having the ability to come straight out onto the water to be able to get some fresh food cooked and served to you right then and there on the sandbar,” he said. “You might ask how? Imagine a restaurant on the water, and when I say on the water, I don’t mean on land close to water. I mean a boat serving food directly on the water.

“You might ask how I would attract people to come and get food from my restaurant, but the truth is the people will come to me. Sandbars attract hundreds of people per day and I will be able to serve up food for all of those people.

“This ‘Burger Boat’ restaurant will be located on the Torch Lake sandbar, which is a highly visited place by all boaters on Torch Lake. This boat will be up to code according to the health department. It will have an enclosed area, which will be most of the boat which will help the chef and other

employees be able to cook and prepare good food in a controlled environment and not have to worry about the wind blowing things away.”

Peter Delismon, “Delismon Auto Restoration and Design”

Delismon provides customers with a unique automotive experience while restoring or repairing the body of their automobile, he said. Delismon’s target customers are individuals who are looking to restore a worn or damaged vehicle to the condition when it was new or prior to being damaged.

Delismon is an expert in vehicle restoration and has been freelancing in body repair work for many years. His passion for customer satisfaction and his pride in his product, he noted, will “quickly propel Delismon Auto Restoration to be the choice for automobile repair in the northern Illinois/southern Wisconsin regions.”

Adam Koski, “U.P Dek Hockey”

Upper Michigan Dek Hockey is a 3-on-3 ball hockey league played on a 100-by-50 plastic surface while participants run on their feet outdoors.

“Dek Hockey provides friendly competition, recreational entertainment and a great way to stay in shape while enjoying the outdoors,” Koski said. “Dek Hockey is unique because anyone can play regardless on age or skill level.”


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