Cobraventure Pitch Competition

CobraVenture is a student entrepreneur cohort for current Parkland College students who want to start their own business while still in enrolled in college. Students can be part of any academic program, but the thread that ties them together is the desire to take their idea from concept to commerce. Students will earn monetary awards for their business through participation in the CobraVenture Pitch Showcase. CobraVenture is a collaboration of the Office of the Vice President of Communications and External Affairs, Parkland College Community Education, and the Parkland Foundation.

Jeane Breiland – Opal’s on Main

2022 First Place Winner of $3,000 Murray Wise and Associates Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award, $1,000 Busey Bank Technology Award, and mentoring from UIUC Gies College of Business “Action Learning Student Team”

Missed mingling with your friends over the last couple of years? I’d venture to say we’ve all come to value the importance of community. Opal’s on Main endeavors to fill this void for the Village of Camargo and beyond. At Opal’s, from the moment you walk through our front door, you’ll be transported back to a time when the community was a natural part of our daily lives. Shop our collection of fine arts handcrafted by local artisans, curated antiques, and boutiques. Are you looking for a great place to grab a coffee with friends or lunch on the go? We've got that too! Opal’s on Main offers a full-service butcher shop, serving grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and cheeses; a breakfast and lunch cafe; staple groceries; handmade candies; an inhouse bakery; and so much more! In the spirit of Farm to Table, you can trust us to offer only the highest quality, locally sourced goods. So come on down to Opal’s on Main, where we strive to grow and support your community.

Muriel “Mimi” Balende – Zhe Reign

Second Place: $1,000 prize from It’s a Wrap Automotive, LLC, $750 Busey Bank Technology Award, and mentoring from UIUC Gies College of Business “Action Learning Student Team”

Have you ever purchased a clothing item you really liked, only for it to fall apart after a few wears? If it rips or the color changes, then the item that you once really liked, now you don’t want to wear it anymore. Then ask yourself this question: “Is this item worth buying again, even when you know the consequences?” Or would you rather spend a little more on a unique, one-of-a-kind clothing item that will last much longer?

I want to introduce my brand, Zhe Reign, that focuses on timeless, unique, and one-of-a-kind clothing that you will enjoy wearing because it is made just for you. At Zhe Reign, each item is handmade, giving you exclusivity and uniqueness with each purchase. In addition, our products focus on sustainability. Seeing how poorly-made, inexpensive fashion items are negatively affecting our environment, we will design and make clothing that is worth every penny that you spend on them. “Zhe Reign,” which means “a kingdom,” will start selling unique handmade clothing items and then slowly grow to include home décor items and much more. Become part of a timeless, unique, exclusive, and sustainable brand with Zhe Reign.

Nathaniel Carsten – The Nature Way

Third place: $1,000 prize from Shawluxe Premier Renovations, $250 Busey Bank Technology Award

The Nature District is the way to bring the true beauty of Illinois, known as the Prairie State, to your yard. No, I’m not talking about corn and soybeans, but the native plants that covered Illinois years ago. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, less than 2300 acres of high-quality prairie remain in Illinois. As responsible stewards of our land, we have an opportunity to raise this number by how we landscape our homes. By implementing responsible and natural garden designs through the Nature District, we will increase the sustainability of Illinois pollinators, soil quality, and provide education on sustainability. Together we can grow a community of citizen stewards and take responsibility for the quality of our land. So, as the sun starts to shine after April showers, don’t let May bring superficial flowers—let Nate bring to your yards prairie powers. 

Brad Holt – Sine Pro, LLC

Fourth place: $500 prize from Parkland faculty Mark and Tammy Kesler
Through education and understanding of 3D printing, we make life more accessible by design, thus creating new opportunities to innovate our world towards a healthier existence. Through this process, we invoke the imagination and turn it into reality. We can help change the world, for the better, at a faster rate in real-time. 3D printing is not a new technology, having been around since the early 1980s, but it is starting to gain traction now more than ever. From cosplay to car parts to fully-constructed homes, 3D printing is rapidly progressing, and so are the profit margins. Sine Pro, LLC is a 3D printing business that offers dependable 3D printers and filaments for purchase, educational classes, and service technicians to assist in the field. Let’s be pros at life—Sine Pros.

Delma Cobb – Expresso Yourself

Alumni Award: $250

Join me at Expresso Yourself, an educational café that will provide a safe environment for middle and high school students from all backgrounds. My purpose is to support the education of our students in Rantoul, Illinois, and do this within a safe environment. No other place in town will be like Expresso Yourself. My business will allow students to hang out and study after school hours. I will give discounts on items to students who show good grades or that they have recently brought their grade up. In addition, we will provide beverages like soft drinks, smoothies, refreshers, and small pastries. Come express yourself with us at Expresso Yourself!

Nephtalie Salem – Magic & Smooth Weddings by Anna

Alumni Award: $250

Have you ever heard a bride-to-be say, “How can I have a stress-free, dream wedding and reception?” Planning and carrying out a dream wedding and reception is a very difficult job if you haven’t had any experience. While you may be doing your best to grasp the details of planning, preparing, and organizing a wedding, it can be terrifying and stressful to the point where you may feel like giving up. The stress associated with wedding planning can be relieved by hiring an experienced wedding planner who will be able to turn your amazing ideas into reality, which is why Magic & Smooth Weddings by Anna is the solution. As the owner of Magic & Smooth Weddings by Anna, my objective is to listen to you, pay attention to details, support you from start to finish, and be by your side throughout the entire wedding and reception planning process. Leave it all up to me as we visit several reception venues, select the dinner menu, decide on live music or a DJ, select your wedding dress and quality photographer—I will be your guide through it all. Magic & Smooth Weddings by Anna takes away your stress and creates a wedding and reception you and your spouse will remember fondly for the rest of your lives together.

Leslie Carlson-Danner – Advocated Amenity

Alumni Award: $250

Advocated Amenity provides a service to families involved in family court. Advocated Amenity offers a third-party service to those with court-ordered supervised visitation. Our mission is to encourage and support reunification while providing safety for the children involved. Our services include a third-party drop-off and pick-up with high conflict cases to ensure a child’s best interests. The service offered through Advocated Amenity differs from other visitation centers since we will facilitate our services at various locations. For example, a visit could take place at a park, a mall, a parent’s house, or an event that both parents consent to, and proper insurance is in place before said event. Our goal is to provide a safe space for children to create positive memories with a parent and provide our professional observations to family court in the child’s best interests. Advocated Amenity is a service open to the community and other like agencies in the area.

Shaersti Anderson – Shaerstirae Tiedye

Alumni Award: $250

Are you concerned about how our society is so focused on inexpensive fast fashion and the “wear it and discard it” attitude? My business will be a boutique that focuses on designing and producing one-of-a-kind upcycled wearable art and handmade ceramic pieces that can be worn by my customers in their everyday lives. For my wearables I will offer prospective buyers every size from newborn to 5X, giving my range of customers no boundaries. I am concerned about our environment, so I am committed to creating upcycled wearable art and ceramic glass jewelry with quality as my guide. In addition to my boutique, I will offer my clients classes on producing wearable art and ceramic pieces. I cannot wait to meet you and create your one-of-a-kind wearable art and ceramic jewelry.

2022 Sponsors



Murray Wise Associates

Murray Wise Associates is the leading expert in land, auction, and agribusiness related transactions. They provide a complete range of services for the acquisition, management, and disposition of land and agriculture investments. Through land auctions, providing real estate and farm management services for individual clients, and finding capital for growing companies, Murray Wise Associates is an integral part of the entire agriculture supply chain.

Busey Bank


With more than 150 years of strength and service, Busey Bank is as committed to serving Champaign today as they were when founded in 1868. Busey provides an array of services across Illinois, Missouri, Indianapolis, and southwest Florida, including personal banking, commercial lending, mortgage, wealth management solutions, and more.

UIUC Gies College of Business

For more than 100 years, Gies Business has designed its innovative programs, leading-edge curriculum, and experiential learning opportunities to empower and prepare students to turn big ideas into meaningful actions. As one of the top 10 public business schools in the nation, their faculty and staff guide students to think beyond the possible and find new ways to make a difference.

It's a Wrap

It's A Wrap Automotive is the leading vinyl graphics company serving Central Illinois since 2018. They offer vinyl wraps and graphics, commercial signage, decals, auto detailing, graphic design, ceramic coating, paint protection film, window tinting, and much more. The founders and employees at It’s a Wrap are automotive enthusiasts with a passion for what they do, treating every single vehicle that comes through their doors as if it were their own.

ShawLuxe Premier Renovations

Proudly serving the Central Illinois area for 10 years, ShawLuxe Premier Renovations consists of hard workers ready to meet your home renovation needs. In addition to painting and drywall, they offer top-of-the-line flooring, tile, interior design, and remodeling options for your home. From your free estimate and color consultation to getting the job done and doing a final walk through with owner Brett Shaw, they promise you a great and friendly experience.

Mark and Tammy Kesler

Past and present instructors at Parkland College


Need More Information?

Contact Marc Changnon, Entrepreneurship Coordinator at or Cayla Waters at