NCET’s Success Stories
Governor’s Cup paves road to high-profile career
2006 Governor’s Cup Undergraduate Winner
Michael Chestone competed not once, but twice in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup, walking away with first place honors in 2006. Today he has turned his business plan into his professional livelihood, serving as manager of Utility Scale projects for Sharp Electronics Corp.
“I am currently in the same industry that my project was based around – thin film photovoltaics, or thin film solar electric,” explains Chestone. “While our project had a slightly different twist on application, the technology was very similar. I currently work at one of the world’s largest photovoltaic manufacturers, and manage utility scale project sales and implementations. We are part of an industry revolution that is moving beyond rooftop solar installations and now realizing the introduction of large-scale solar fields as electricity generating or power plants that will be providing clean power for millions of Americans over the next couple of years.”
The Governor’s Cup not only helped Chestone develop his business plan, but taught him that perseverance is everything in the real world.
“We competed the first year and made the finalist round, but did not place. We put our nose to the grindstone, worked hard, listened closely to our mentors and the judges’ feedback, and then went back the next year to take first place,” says Chestone. “That feeling of accomplishment after working on something for two years and having lost the first year was irreplaceable. We learned to work hard, surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and follow through on good advice.”
The Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition