PORTLAND – Three business students at the University of Southern Maine are winners of the $25,000 Student Business Plan Competition for 2005.

Justin Almy of Farmington, Jay Casterella of Portland and Barbara Silke of Scarborough plan to introduce a line of dump trailers with a new-patented technology that replaces costly hydraulic models and eliminates expensive maintenance and repair. The team will manufacture a large and small version of the product based on their existing prototype.

Their company, DO-All-Dump, LLC, won over four other finalist teams in the competition, which initially included 23 teams. For the first time, the competition was open to students from universities and colleges throughout Maine. Teams from Southern Maine Community College and University of Maine at Orono participated in the competition.

The award was announced April 13 at a meeting of the USM Corporate Partners, a group of more than 350 business people, from more than 150 companies, who believe that a responsive public university plays a key role in building and sustaining a vibrant community. The USM Corporate Partners was formed in 1989 to develop and support “partnerships” between the business sector and the University of Southern Maine.

The competition, now in its fourth year, provides $10,000 in start-up cash and $15,000 in consulting services. The previous three winners are preparing to market products: one is an innovative water-pollution-sensing device; the second is a collapsible ironing board; and last year’s winner has a surface mapping technology. The current winner is expected to seek entry into the marketplace within a year.

USM Business School Dean Jack Trifts, in remarks at the awards presentation, announced plans to continue to expand the competition throughout Maine next year.

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