An online platform for automotive services, the Lyft for healthcare, a social commerce tool for shoes. Or maybe it’s a logistics software creator, a tool for hiring managers to measure cultural fit, an online legal marketplace, or a monthly goody box for the pampered pooch?
Or how about interactive alphabet blocks, an international e-commerce checkout solution, a health and wellness marketplace for cash patients or a tool to negotiate consumer debt. We’ve even got selfie gift wrap.
Who is building the best new business? You tell us!
Today, we unveil the top six finishers in the Community and FIU Tracks of the 18th annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, and we are asking you to support your favorite competitors. The People’s Pick, now in its 10th year as part of the Challenge, is open for voting.
With just a couple of days’ notice, the contenders, all with emerging South Florida companies, presented elevator pitches under the hot lights of the Miami Herald and FIU studios earlier this month.
To vote for your favorite startups, here’s what to do:
Click on the top story on MiamiHerald.com/Challenge to bring up the voting page or find it here. View the short videos of the finalists’ elevator pitches. The six selections in the FIU Track follow the Community Track.
Then scroll to the bottom of the voting 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. Use hashtag #2016BizPlanMiami to follow along.
Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. May 1. The top voted team from each track track will be awarded the People’s Pick and honored in the May 9 Business Monday section along with the judges’ selections.
The contenders are:
AlphaTechBlocks, pitched by Marilu Kernan and Taryn Keim, will create digital interactive alphabet blocks. With the accompanying mobile apps, kids learn ABCs and words in English and Spanish.
Candidate.Guru, pitched by Christopher Daniels, is a big data-analytics solution that can predict a culture fit between corporate hiring managers and prospective job seekers without the need for surveys and assessment tools.
Gift Wrap My Face, pitched by Vanessa Clavijo and Aryel Rivero, is the cure for the common gift. It allows the gift-giver to design his or her own selfie wrapping paper.
Ride2MD, pitched by George Fernandez, is the Lyft for healthcare, providing an innovative solution that eliminates wasted time and effort by streamlining the transportation process with real-time technology that offers complete transparency.
Shoes Dsire, pitched by Jane Bernacca, is a dynamic social commerce tool that combines cutting-edge visual search technology with crowdsourcing to provide a faster and more personalized experience for shoe shoppers.
TradeLanes, pitched by Vijay Harrell, automates document preparation for exporters. Exporters can orchestrate demand planning, supplier performance, inventory management and end-to-end logistics in one application.
Joust, pitched by Franco Aquino, Julio Benavides and Jonas Erthal, is an online platform that facilitates the quoting and payment process for automotive services.
Jurbid, pitched by Aydin Bonabi and David Johns, is an online legal marketplace that seamlessly connects clients with lawyers.
Pooch Perks, pitched by Tina Vidal, is pet-parent purchased, dog-tested and veterinarian-approved; it provides a monthly customizable box of carefully curated goods for the pampered pooch.
Settleitsoft, pitched by Rich Rudner, offers a free, web-based debt negotiation platform that will help resolve the global economic problem of consumer default on contractual obligations.
SkyBox Checkout, pitched by Taylor Philippi, is an anywhere-to-anywhere international e-commerce checkout solution with shipment to 200 countries and territories and multicurrency in 140 local currencies.
ValueDOC, pitched by Alain Fernandez, is an online health and wellness marketplace for cash patients.