Business Plan Challenge launches People’s Pick contest


What’s next in Challenge

•  People’s Pick competition: To vote, go to, click on the “vote” button to view the videos or click here and then scroll down to vote for one team in each track. You may vote once per day through April 22.

•  FIU Pino Center Shark Tank: Give your 2-minute pitch and get advice and feedback at this educational networking event Friday morning. Winner awarded free admission to the AVCC (Americas Venture Capital Conference) in December. This event is free to Challenge contestants — email or contact the Pino Center for the discount code. More info on event:

•  Winners unveiled: The winners of the judges’ awards in all three tracks and the People’s Picks will be announced in a special report on May 6.

Today we unveil the top six finishers in the 15th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, and you get a chance to vote for your favorite plans in the Community and FIU Tracks. The People’s Pick competition, now in its 7th year as part of the Challenge, is open for voting.

With just a couple days’ notice, the contenders presented their 90-second elevator pitches in Miami Herald and FIU studios on the same day earlier this month.

To vote for your favorite contestants, here’s what to do:

Click on the "vote" button on (top left) to bring up the voting page or click here. View any of the short videos of the finalists’ elevator pitches. The six selections in the FIU Track follow the Community Track.

Then scroll down to the bottom of the page to cast your ballot, voting for one video in each track. You may vote once per day.

Lastly, get out the vote! Give your favorite entrepreneurial team more support by asking your social networks to vote. In previous contests, we’ve had votes from all over the world. Follow along on Twitter with #mhchallenge.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. April 22. The teams with the most votes in each track will be awarded the People’s Pick and honored in the May 6 Business Monday section along with the judges’ selections.

The 2013 contestants are:

Community Track

•  AdMobilize, pitched by Rodolfo Saccoman. Utilizing proprietary portals, dashboards and metrics, AdMobilize creates two new advertising networks, transforming passenger vehicles and iPads into moving billboards.

•  Arctico, pitched 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.

•  Lean Culinary Services (dba DeliverLean), pitched by Scott Harris, 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, pitched 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.

•  PAPA Systems, pitched 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.

•  spendLO, pitched by Kristin Delaney. spendLO’s Web-based (and soon to be mobile) service-request platform enables consumers to “name their price” on any service. Pre-qualified local vendors can submit bids within the consumers’ budgets.

FIU Track

•  Bowling and Family Entertainment Center, pitched by Joshua Kaufman. This upscale family-oriented 40-lane bowling facility would also feature billiards, video arcade games, apparel and pro shop, training facility, restaurant and bar.

•  Deubre, pitched by John Romney and Paul Hoffmann. Deubre provides easily interchangeable Designer Shoe Lace Tags to style-conscious individuals.

•  EyeTalk, pitched by Viurniel Sanchez, offers an affordable pair of eye glasses that allow people with severe vision impairment to hear the text in books, newspapers, menus, packaging and other items in many languages.

•  5K PARK Fest, pitched by Marlene Quincoces. This is a community event and fund-raising platform that promotes kindness, civic engagement and a healthy and active lifestyle.

•  Upsigo, pitched by Carlos and Kari Edde, is an online platform designed for the dynamic negotiation of cargo between the shipper (freight forwarders) and carrier companies (cargo airlines, ocean carriers), which improves the way companies in the air and ocean cargo industry collaborate.

•  U.S. Radiology, pitched by Michael Cabrera. A network of free-standing diagnostic imaging centers will provide scheduling services to payers, imaging centers and patients — initially in Florida and more specifically to the workers’ compensation marketplace.

Read more Business Plan Challenge stories from the Miami Herald

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