School’s Undergraduates Take Top Honors in Regional Entrepreneurship Competition
October 21, 2011
The School of Business was well represented among the finalists in the South Florida chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organization Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) program, held this month at the School. The program recognizes outstanding undergraduate students who run their own businesses while attending college. Four of the six program finalists, including the grand prize winner, are all members of the School’s entrepreneurship program. The UM students beat out 30 other students from South Florida universities for the top honors.
“Experiential education is most fundamental for entrepreneurship,” said Ken Colwell, director of the School’s entrepreneurship programs. “Competitions such as the GSEA are great opportunities for students to get feedback from successful, real-world business people and a critical part of their educations.”
All four School of Business students presented innovative business ventures in a variety of fields. Quinn Worden won the grand prize and $10,000 in prizes and services from members of the Entrepreneur’s Organization for his e-commerce physical therapy equipment distribution company, PT United. He also qualified as a finalist in last year’s business plan competition for PT United and will be receiving an all-expense-paid trip to New York to compete in the global GSEA competition at the New York Stock Exchange next month. The global winner of this competition will receive a total prize package of more than $150,000.
“We want to optimize patient recovery and give patients the best quality of care as quickly as possible,” said Worden of his growing business, which he plans on continuing to expand over the next two years with a product line.
Tyler McIntyre, who was also the first recipient of the Miami Innovation Fund’s angel funding, was awarded runner-up for Lucid Technologies, a smart phone application development firm. Other UM finalists included George Bahadue, whose website The Interner is designed to help students find internships based on their interests, and Jon Kowalsky, who combined his passion for music and business to create Studio120, a website for independent artists and music enthusiasts to share and sell their music.
Nick Chmura of the University of Tampa was also a finalist for BetterBOO.com, a joint website with Amazon and Facebook that helps users select gifts to buy, as was Seth Gold of High Point University for his eco-friendly, non-profit t-shirt line Bamboo Apparel, which donates one t-shirt for every shirt purchased to needy children in Uganda.