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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Temple has some of the most distinguished entrepreneurs in the nation. That comes as no surprise to us; we know that our Entrepreneurship program is ranked top ten nationwide. One of the most impressive tests of how incredibly Temple students are is Fox’s annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl (BYOBB). This epic business plan competition tests the innovativeness and determination of entrepreneurs from all 17 schools and colleges at Temple.

            Each year, as many as hundreds of eager, precocious students turn up the heat and spend torturous hours writing a business plan in the hopes of making the finals and eventually winning one of the top prizes. This year, in the undergraduate track, the 1st prize winner was Mike Cangi for Impact Performance Lab (IPL), an entrepreneurship major who is finishing up his time here at Temple. The Kennett Square, PA native is an ex-football player (at his old school, Lebanon Valley College) who had to quit after five concussions and now applies the same discipline to his entrepreneurial pursuits.

            I personally had the pleasure of interning with Mike at Sand Shack, the sustainable apparel company started by Temple alum and former BYOBB winner, Brian Linton, in the Fall of 2009. He has since continued working with Linton, but initially stood out to me as having a transcendent passion for entrepreneurship and a developing one for sustainability. This growing interest became the driving force behind IPL.

            “The idea of doing business for the sake of business just doesn’t seem to make sense to me anymore,” says Mike. “I want to accomplish something greater and my hope is that this can help change the automotive performance industry.”

            IPL is a line of automotive performance parts for hybrid, electric and alternative-fuel cars like intake systems and drive gears. The goal is to make sustainable vehicle platforms even more sustainable with parts designed to increase a car’s power and therefore increasing its efficiency. But cars are nothing new to him as he has been in love with them for as long as he can remember.  He bought and rebuilt his first car at the age of 15 and is currently converting his car from gasoline to ethanol-powered.

            If you’re impressed by all that fancy car jargon, you’ll probably be more impressed to learn that Mike executed this solo. While most people split up the grueling work of developing a business plan and 10-minute presentation between two or more partners, he chose to go it alone. On top of that, he had another business plan with Linton entered in the finals. The plan did not place, but played a significant role in his success. They had entered it in last year’s BYOBB and made the finals but did not place. Rather than feel defeated, they got right back up.

            “It was good because it humbled us,” says Mike. “We learned from the mistakes of last year’s presentation. You have to make the judges understand what the overall product/service is as succinctly and concisely as you possibly can.”

            They revised and resubmitted the plan and even though it did not win, it gained its own fair share of attention and interest. It was only when he combined all of his passions that he was successful in achieving his goal, a moral that transcends past a cliché. Mike says his secret to success is simply doing what he loves and encourages others to do the same.

            “The reason I’m willing to work so hard and go without sleep is because I’m going to bed thinking about something I love and I wake up wanting to get right back into it. If you’re doing something you love, that internal drive is constantly there and constantly pushing you. If you’re just in it for the money, the incentive to get up in the morning is not there.”

            His entrepreneurial spirit is nothing newfound either. His first entrepreneurial venture was in the sixth grade when he realized that ACME stores, located only on the east coast, were selling limited edition bobble head dolls of the top players in the MLB. He took this opportunity to set up an eBay account and, with a thousand dollar loan from his parents, bought up hundreds of the dolls and sold them for 4 times what he bought them for. It’s no wonder he was able to convince 19 top executives and CEOs that he his plan was the best, earning him a prize of $10,000 cash, $3,000 in Microsoft products, $6,000 in business coaching and six months office space in the Small Business Development Center’s Incubator.

With his prototypes in development, these prizes will allow him to further develop and show off his work at the Special Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) trade show in November and get his website up and running. Now that’s how you end your college career off with a bang.

Jaimee Swift is a Senior majoring in Communications. One of her many dreams is to become a broadcast journalist and to meet and work with the infamous Anderson Cooper. Her hobbies include reading everything in sight, running, dancing crazily, laughing uber hard, watching movies, and consuming as much juice as possible. Jaimee is so overjoyed to be a part of such a magnificent site such as Her Campus Temple University. Ever since the days of her youth, she has strives to make a difference and bring positive change to all that she touches. She still holds on to that mindset and hopes to bring positivity and creativity to Her Campus Temple University!