There is never a shortage of entrepreneurial spirit in South Florida. Entries to our 15th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge poured in, making cases for businesses in nearly every industry imaginable.
This year’s Challenge, sponsored by Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center, drew a record number of entries — 238 in all — and our judges said they saw a lot of creative and innovative ideas. But to really shine in the Business Plan Challenge, a good idea is never enough. The judges also need to see a smart business plan for execution.
Our judges rated written entries for market opportunity, business model, management team, marketing strategy, financials and more. We will be happy to share the judges’ feedback after the Challenge is over on May 6. Just email email@example.com with your request.
With no further ado, today we announce the semifinalists in the Community and FIU Tracks. We will announce our High School Track finalists next week. And the semifinalists are:
• AdMobilize, by Rodolfo Saccoman. Utilizing proprietary portals, dashboards and metrics, AdMobilize creates two new advertising networks, transforming passenger vehicles and iPads into moving billboards.
• Arctico, by Nestor Villalobos. Company’s purified ice in single-serving tamper-proof packaging allows consumers to cool their drinks using the expertly engineered slow-melting ice in places where they may not trust local sources.
• Dog-E-Glow, by Gregory Brauser, creates and sells a high-end line of LED designed pet collars, leashes and other pet accessories featuring collegiate sports and other licensed logo designs.
• iCare Intelligence, by John Suarez. iCare, currently in beta testing, delivers cloud-based performance management solutions and analytics for the purpose of controlling healthcare expenses.
• Kitchen Popups, by Lauren Casgren-Tindall and Mauricia Ragland. People who follow a restrictive diet (vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, raw, etc.) find it difficult to dine outside the home due to a lack of food options. KP will curate an online network for people to share meals, while cross-selling related goods and services on its platform.
• Lean Culinary Services, by Scott Harris and Olga Kuzenkov, offers DeliverLean, a healthy meal delivery service that combines flavor, quality balance and portion control, and OnJuice, a cold-pressed juice and cleanse line.
• Make Them BEG, by Jessica Kizorek and Michelle Villalobos, offers an extensive virtual training curriculum and a monthly magazine developed to teach the self-employed how to create an irresistible personal brand.
• Miami Winery Project, by Patrick Charpentier, Jerome Hayfil and Charles Mac Caffrey, includes a wine-bottling facility in Miami that would bottle wines imported in bulk from Argentina, Chile, France, Spain and Italy, allowing a 30 percent to 40 percent cost savings on the finished product.
• Munchkin Fun Classes, by Valerie Schimel. This mompreneur’s company provides a single destination for parents to find, enroll in and pay for kids’ classes. It partners with marquis local businesses.
• PAPA Systems, by Len Loffler. This patented and prototyped shock-reducing boat suspension deck platform, which is mounted on the deck of a boat, reduces the harmful stress on the spine of the occupants of a small boat in choppy water.