2013 Business Plan Challenge finalists and semifinalists


Of the 238 entries in this year’s Business Plan Challenge, these finalists and semifinalists rose to the top in the judges’ rankings.


Arctico, by Nestor Villalobos. Arctico’s purified ice in single-serving tamper-proof packaging allows consumers to cool drinks using expertly engineered slow-melting ice in places where they may not trust local sources. Top 6 finalist.

Dog-E-Glow, by Gregory Brauser. Dog-E-Glow 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, in beta testing, delivers cloud-based performance management solutions and analytics for 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 out 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.

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 System, 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. Top 6 finalist.

Playapy, by Amy Baez. This online child development resource for parents and educators of children up to 12 years of age offers ways to improve play and learn skills as well as access tips, videos and therapy professionals directly.

Synergist, by Jared Kleinert. Synergi.st helps social entrepreneurs build a network of people around common ideas to improve society, collaborate in a free shared workspace, and fund their movements.


Deubre, by John Romney, David Lewis and Paul Hoffmann. Deubre provides easily interchangeable Designer Shoe Lace Tags to style-conscious individuals. Top 6 finalist.

Energy Consortium of the Americas, by Brian Zirulnikoff, Roberto Flores and Matthew Mecsery. An interactive Web-based platform provides the average person with the technologies, know-how, installation, financing options and a computer application that will help establish a trainable, independent energy-auditing workforce.

Goodbun, by Daniel del Campo and Alec Fernandez. Rethinking the term “fast food,” Goodbun will offer burgers, fries, wraps and snacks that are tasty, convenient — and healthy.

Grounds to Ground, by Yvette Tablada and Andres De La Puente, seeks to create a green sustainable soil conditioner and insect repellent made from recycled coffee waste.

I Know Science, by Gabriela M. Brown. IKS offers a purposeful and fun after-school program for children in kindergarten through 5th grade to spark curiosity and a lifelong love of science through engaging and interactive labs.

Instant Islands, by Ryan S. Weier and Steven Weier. Engineered steel-reinforced concrete structures, or islands, would surround and protect environmentally sensitive areas such as sea grass beds and natural reefs from boat anchors and storm damage.

RingFit, by Charles Stack Sr., Rafael Crespo, Carmine Tufano and Charles Stack Jr. A workout program developed by real fighters and trainers in boxing focused on maximizing a person’s all-around athletic ability and performance.

Upsigo, by Carlos and Kari Edde, is an online platform for the dynamic negotiation of cargo between the shipper (freight forwarders) and carrier companies, which improves the way companies in the air and ocean cargo industry collaborate. Top 6 finalist.


iServe, by Jan Bergengruen and Jordi Lorido of Ransom Everglades. This app targeted at high school students would provide ways to help the community by informing students of nearby local opportunities where they could help out, as well as simplify the process of tracking and credibly confirming volunteer hours.

Life on the Line, by Juan Felipe Barragan and Isabella Zopo of St. Thomas Aquinas. This interactive RPG (role-playing game) app aims to help middle school and high school students understand the issues of violence, raising awareness in order to solve the problems and misuses of weapons, while immersing players in the professions of the people who protect our community, such as police officers and firefighters.

Spider, by Jared Ertel and Ryan Schatz, of Ransom Everglades. The goal of this free website would be to organize all social media into one concise, neat format, organized based on the user’s interests. Revenue would be derived from advertising; 35 percent of profits would go to charitable organizations that are most actively supported on the site by the user base.

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