October 22, 2012- Tampa, Fla- The University of Tampa Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business has announced today that eight students have been chosen to enter a six-week business plan development program as the next round in the CREATE business plan competition, powered by BNY Mellon Wealth Management.
The final Pitch Competition of CREATE will be held Friday November 9th – Vaughn Center, Board of Trustees Room from 9 – 11am.
Fifteen start-up business ideas were pitched by 28 aspiring entrepreneurs from all colleges within the University.
The Finalists are – Lindsay Nochowicz & Kelsey Matthews of Pass it On; Sarah Daniels of Florida Fresh Nails; Johnathon Brodeur of Transformiture; Thomas Sockow of Medical Tourism Company; Branden Negron and Jared Shlager of TipMe and finally Duncan Abdelnour of Synergy Text Marketing.
What the finalists had to say:
“I’ve had the idea for two years and I must personally thank the faculty, staff and my fellow students for the encouragement to get involved. The experience has been a cathartic rush.” Thomas M. Sockow, Medical Tourism Company
“CREATE was a valuable learning experience, as it was our first time ever pitching TipMe. It helped jump start our venture and is helping us prepare for the future of our company. We are exceptionally glad that we entered this competition, receiving extremely positive feedback from the judges and audience. We look forward to embracing this full experience and seeing where it takes us ” – Branden Negron and Jared Shlager, Founders of TipMe Mobile Application
“I’ve had the idea to create a furniture unit that functions as a bed, desk, sofa, and wall treatment that has storage space for some time now. I’ve started on the prototype, written the patent, and trademarked the name “Transformiture.” However, I wanted help focusing my idea and figuring out a way to actually make it work in the business world, which is why I entered CREATE. I am so excited to begin working on this project and to really make my dream a reality. This is my kick start and I’m not going to stop moving once it’s over.”-Johnathon Brodeur, Transformiture
“My CREATE experience has been eye-opening. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and look forward to expanding upon my ‘pitch’ knowledge. I came up with the idea of Florida Fresh Nails and on campus nail salon and entered the competition solely for experience and to get an idea about what exactly a pitch competition was and how to most successfully develop and deliver a pitch.” -Sarah Daniels, Florida Fresh Nails
A panel made up of local and regional business leaders from various industries were on-hand to provide feedback and coaching to the competing students.
The six-week business plan development program will include various faculty-lead workshops focused on the critical aspects of running a lean and profitable start-up.
Titled CREATE (Creating, Real, Entrepreneurial, Actions, Through, Education), the business plan competition is a program that enables future entrepreneurs to sharpen their skills through a unique and diverse combination of academic study, experiential learning and access to mentors from the regional business community. For More information regarding CREATE please visit:
About University of Tampa Entrepreneurship Center: The University of Tampa Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business teaches skills that are critical for today’s entrepreneur. Learning to identify opportunities, prepare executable business plans, and hone skills through a combination of classroom study and applied learning, makes our program unique. Students will have the opportunity to engage and learn from the center’s strategic partners such as The Bank of New York Mellon Wealth Management and The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Research Center through unique programs and competitions. With more than 150 UT students enrolled in the program, entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing fields of study both on campus and in the United States, with entrepreneurs projected to be the group that creates vigorous and sustained economic development, worldwide.