A University of South Carolina (USC) team of pharmacy students Harriet Kneece, Maddie Demarsh, Rylee Rankin and Taylor Stone finished second overall in the live Pruitt-Schutte Business Plan competition held during the 2015 National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Annual Convention on October 10 in National Harbor, MD.

The team provided a 20 minute business plan presentation in front of a packed room with more than 600 attendees.  They then fielded questions from a panel of six judges that included leadership from Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company, Live Oak Bank, Amerisource Bergen, NCPA Past President Mark Riley, and two additional multi-pharmacy owners. 


Prior to reaching the finals of the competition, the team created a full business plan for a startup pharmacy with an emphasis on women’s health. The business plan included a business description, a loan request, a location analysis, a marketing plan, and three years of financial projections (including an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement). Their written plan was selected as one of the top three nationally (out of 43 school business plan submissions) in July 2015 during the 2015 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Companies, and the NCPA Foundation, allowing them to compete in the finals against teams from the University of Minnesota and the University of Arkansas. 


“The team put in a tremendous amount of work over the past year but all of that hard work really showed at the national competition,” said Bryan Ziegler, executive director of the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center at USC, which hosted the local competition the team won earlier this year.   “They represented themselves and the SC College of Pharmacy very well in the national spotlight.”


The USC Pharmacy team won $2,000 for the NCPA-USC Student Chapter, $2,000 for the college to promote independent pharmacy, and all expenses paid to attend the NCPA Annual Meeting at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.  These prizes are in addition to the awards the team has already won from the local competition hosted by the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center.  The local awards included $8,000 in prizes and a trip to the Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference in Las Vegas.