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. For the 2020 cohort, students can earn up to $7,000 in 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.

Student Businesses

Nyiyah Bland

Founder: Nyiyah Bland

Business: Just My Confidence

Just My Confidence is an aspiring life coaching brand building women’s confidence and self-esteem across the globe, starting in 2021. We believe in transparency and taking clients out of their comfort zones to level up their lives in every aspect. We specialize in communicating with powerful women from various backgrounds to learn and share our knowledge. In fact, we just conducted an interview with Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Jessica Jackson, on mental health issues and ways to ensure we are taking priority on our self-care journey. We love to learn and grow. The most exciting factor is we do it all together. I started this business because I have not always been the most confident girl in the world and decided one day that I was not going to be in my own way anymore. From that day forward, I consistently worked on myself, and others started noticing the change. I was glowing from inside out, and other women were inspired to know what I was doing. We’re looking forward to launching a YouTube channel, podcast, and our very own beauty line. I’d love for you to join us on this journey!”

Jacob Conaty

Founder: Jacob Conaty

Business: Conaty's Custom Carpentry

“Have you ever wanted a piece of custom-made wooden furniture for your home but didn't know where to turn for help? My mission, as the owner of Conaty's Custom Carpentry, is to listen to you and work to build exactly what you want in a custom-built piece of wood furniture for your home. I will create and build quality items as large as a dining room table to something as small as a custom wood frame for that special picture or painting. I work with the finest wood to build you exactly what you vision for your home.”

Eliot Graham

Founder: Eliot Graham

Business: The Wood Violet

“The Wood Violet plans to be a mobile gardening unit that creates small-space gardens. This business will bring plants and products directly to apartment and condo dwellers with small patios, decks, and balconies. Right now, homes are serving as both residences, office spaces, classrooms, and stay-cation destinations. The Wood Violet will turn ignored and neglected outdoors spaces into livable, comfortable, and functional sanctuaries. Whether you’re in the market for a small garden for herbs and vegetables or a jungle paradise to make your Instagram followers green with envy, The Wood Violet will bring the products and expertise directly to your door.”

Corey McAleer

Founder: Corey McAleer

Business: Sweet Hive

“Sweet Hive is an LLC based in Champaign that creates high-quality coffee syrups using all-natural ingredients. Sweet Hive derives its name from the efforts made to rehabilitate bee populations in South America, Madagascar, and Mexico. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, overall global bee populations are expected to be reduced by 50% by the year 2100. It is our mission to assist in bee population sustainability and rehabilitation by creating high-quality coffee syrups to elevate the everyday coffee drinker’s experience.”

Scott Mochinski

Founder: Scott Mochinski

Business: Classic EV Conversions

“At Classic EV Conversions, we’re driving the past into the future. You should be able to enjoy your classic vehicle the way it was intended—with you behind the wheel, instead of it sitting in your garage except for the occasional car show or Sunday drive. After converting your vehicle to electric-power, you won’t ever have to worry about poor fuel economy and the price of gas, the unavailability of parts in the event of mechanical trouble, or finding people who can do even routine maintenance on your vehicle. EV technology can easily increase the performance of your vehicle to levels unmatched by the highest performing vehicles of the past. Let Classic EV Conversions help to ensure that long into the future, your classic vehicle does not end up rotting away in a garage, or worse, in the scrap yard, by converting it electric.”

Dustin Payton

Founder: Dustin Payton

Business: Private First-Class Apothecary and Services LLC

“Here at Private First-Class Apothecary and Services LLC. (PFCAS LLC.) our goals are to use, clean and convert recycled plastics into usable FDA approved hydroponic systems for medical patients who use cannabis. As well as setting up hydroponic systems for customers who want to grow their own foods at home and in the communities that we will operate in while providing knowledge, and assistants with patient’s medication and customers food. We plan on using the funding from these systems to apply for craft grow, cultivation, and medical cultivation licensing for cannabis over the next 5 years. We want to setup a cyclic program for veterans and eligible interested parties to live in sober housing for 1 year and work on whatever issues are at hand with the care and support of staff while they are transitioning. After the program is completed successfully, they will have a position at our company, in the franchises across the nation, with greater promotion through time and experience. We here believe that just like a plant, people need the same care and nurturing. By planting the seeds of encouragement, hope, purpose, and passion, watering and providing light for those seeds, we will not only cultivate wonderful and healthy vegetations, but also be doing our part to help our fellow brothers and sisters.”

Polly Reynolds

Founder: Polly Reynolds

Business: Pawly’s LLC

“Pawly’s is a professional pet stylist salon that opened as an LLC in January 2020. As the owner of Pawly’s, I am going to change the world of pet grooming. Whether you own a cat, a dog, or even a rabbit, Pawly’s can guarantee quality, caring, one-on-one grooming at a reBarkable price! At Pawly’s, you can even get creative with fun temporary colors for your pet’s coat and/or nails! Pet Grooming doesn’t always have to be stressful for your four-legged fur baby—at Pawly’s you will be completely comfortable and confident when leaving your pet to have a spa day. With constant love, play time, and meeting new friends, your pet is going to have a pawsitively perfect time! My constant dedication and hard work have allowed me to progress dramatically from beginning this year with only one customer to now over 130 customers and still growing every day, leaving owners and pets coming back with lasting smiles on their faces. That is pawsome! Pawly’s holds high standards for customer satisfaction, both owner and pet, and will always continue to strive for the absolute best!”

Awards by Placement

First Place

Murray Wise Associates LLC
Busey Bank Logo
Illinois Gies College of Business

Second Place

RamClean Cleaning Services Logo
Busey Logo
Illinois Gies College of Business

Third Place

Shaw's Premier Painting & Drywall
Busey Logo

Fourth Place

Shaw's Premier Painting & Drywall
Busey Logo

Participant Awards - Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Place

It's A Wrap Automotive LLC Logo
Need More Information?

Contact Marc Changnon, Entrepreneurship Coordinator at or Jessie McClusky-Gilbert at