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Hilborn Semi-finalist in State Business Idea Competition

Stephen HilbornMarch 29, 2017

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Stephen Hilborn, a senior finance and accounting major from Shoemakersville, Pa., was named a semi-finalist in the State System of Higher Education Business Idea Competition.  He had previously been awarded the grand prize at the 2016 Kutztown University Business Idea Competition for his mobile application concept, Virgil.

Virgil, an app that aims to help young people during the credit card application process, was awarded a $1,000 grand prize in the KU competition. During Hilborn's presentation he explained to the judges the steps in which his application would help the everyday young person through the credit card application process.  

"When users of Virgil first open the app they would create a personal budget based on their income and expediters. The app would learn the users spending habits and then give recommendations on how they can start saving and how to manage their money." Hilborn explains. "The user then would have the opportunity to set up a savings account that they could deposit money into frequently and eventually use that money to secure their first credit card."

Hilborn explains he originally came up with the idea after his first experience with the credit card process.

"I came up with the idea for the app when I was applying for my first credit card a year and a half ago and was annoyed with the process because it was confusing. And then I got denied on my first card with discover and didn't know why." Hilborn explained. "After one of my friends was denied too, I thought there had to be a better way to do it so I wanted to build a way to streamline the process for students who got good grades, were involved on campus and held a part time job."

Hilborn says that despite not winning at the state level he still wants to release the app.

"I think the competition is a great way to test your ideas and capabilities and I am happy and grateful I had the chance to be a part of it." Hilborn explains. "One of my friends who is a KU graduate and I are hoping to collaborate on the idea. He is going to help me with the computer programming aspects so I can pursue the idea and maybe get it out by the end of the semester or end of summer."

Hilborn credits his success not only through this competition but through his experience at KU to the many mentors and influential professors he has had in the college of business. He also explains that his involvement in the accounting club and entrepreneurship club have played a key part in helping him excel. Hilborn stresses that other KU students should get involved in this competition.

"This competition helped me translate ideas into material you can present. Public speaking, being able to articulate my thoughts and helped me think creatively. These are all skills that I can use in my career and this will help other students advance with them as well." Hilborn explained.