TAMPA — UT undergraduate student Brett McQuaide was awarded $10,000 in seed money to reach the beta testing phase for his new “Stir Stick” business product at the Spartan Accelerator program last Friday.
The item, which features thermochromic ink, lets people know when their cup of coffee is at the perfect drinkable temperature.
McQuaide was one of four UT student-run business ventures that had the opportunity to present their business plans to local entrepreneurial judges — all competing for a chance to gain $25,000 in no-payback seed capital.
The students presented formal investor business plans. Judges from Sherloq Solutions, Florida Funders and Atlantic Merchant Capital Investors were astounded by the quality of the presentation and businesses.
“Everybody’s materials were superb,” said Atlantic Merchant Capital Investors’ judge Douglas Licker. “This is institutional quality in both its content and the information it conveys.”
The competition, which is part of the Spartan Accelerator program, was held in UT’s Sykes College of Business. The Spartan Accelerator program is designed to help current students and recent alumni grow their business ideas. Each semester students and alumni can apply for this program, which partners with Hillsborough County and Sherloq Solutions to fund entrepreneurial ventures that are scalable and planned to operate in Tampa Bay.
The four student businesses were selected from a group of 10 unique scalable businesses to be launched in Tampa Bay. The other teams receiving funding include:
· Undergraduates Austin Holmes and Kelsey Matthews were awarded $5,000 to market their proposal, called College Kids Pass it On, which is an on-campus business that collects and resells unwanted dorm room items. The funds are specifically intended to help Holmes and Matthews purchase inventory.
· MBA student Shea Carpio was awarded $2,500 to develop CoCo A Chocolate Experience. Carpio plans to host in-home chocolate events with a high yield of profit. Carpio will use the funding to market CoCo A Chocolate Experience and produce a video commercial.
· MBA student Johnny Dalrymple was awarded $2,500 to develop and market a cloud-based telecommunications system that takes traditional IP phone systems and hosts those lines in the cloud. The system, called Mobex, has a working relationship with Verizon FiOS and is expanding to the Boston area with tremendous room for growth.
The businesses were funded on a milestone basis to ensure that each step in the business building process will be evaluated.
The event is powered by the UT Sykes College of Business Entrepreneurship Center.
For more information, contact James Zebrowski of the UT Entrepreneurship Center at (917) 280-5452, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 105 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves 7,200 students from 50 states and 136 countries. Approximately 65 percent of full-time students live on campus, and about half of UT students are from Florida.qu