Cameron Keefe is only a second semester freshman, but she finds herself in elite company these days. She is one of only 15 finalist teams in the West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition and could be the recipient of one of three $10,000 grand prizes to start her own business in West Virginia.
She has created a modified athletic roller called the ThermoRoller, a device that can change temperature to relieve sore muscle pain.
“I came up with the idea last year, during my high school track season, when I’d have to ice or stretch my muscles after practice,” said Cameron, who is studying business at West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics. “I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could roll my muscles out and ice or heat them at the same time?’”
Cameron’s key demographic is athletes, but she said that anyone with sore muscles could benefit from her product.
Going into the competition, Cameron thought it would be a great opportunity to show people her product, but said she never thought she would make it to the finals because she was a freshman and was a single-person team. But now that she has made it this far, she said she has learned more than she ever thought she would.
Since she’s only in her second semester of college, Cameron does not yet have many big, future plans. She said her business idea was just a dream that has now been turned into a reality. By networking through the Chambers College, the WVU LaunchLab, the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and with all the other competitors, she has found valuable resources in guiding her through the competition.
“It has helped me conquer my fear of public speaking and it is helping me apply what I have learned in my business classes. This will definitely enhance my perspective on future courses and my career,” said Cameron.