Indexes to measure the stability of fine art and the impact of climate change, an antiques marketplace, an online mall, solutions for your thousands of photos and storage-impaired condos. A “shared economy” company for long-term care, a learning platform for Hispanic kids, a tool to find an affordable lawyer, a business software platform, a campus coffee house/incubator – we’ve even got a food product line made with bugs.
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 17th annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, and we are asking you to vote for your favorite plans. The People’s Pick competition, now in its ninth year as part of the Challenge, is open for voting.
With just a couple of days’ notice, the contenders, all with young South Florida companies, presented their elevator pitches under the hot lights of the Miami Herald and FIU studios earlier this month.
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To vote for your favorite contestants, here’s what to do:
Click on the top story on MiamiHerald.com/Challenge to bring up the voting page. View 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. Use hashtag #bpcvote to follow along.
Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 19. The top voted team from each track track will be awarded the People’s Pick and honored in the April 27 Business Monday section along with the judges’ selections. Vote here – hrld.us/BizPlan2015 – or go to MiamiHerald.com/challenge to find the voting page.
The contenders are:
Accidental Archivist, pitched by Stephanie Norman. Got photos? This is a free platform full of training and tips from industry leaders, a wide array of products and services, and a community of all ages who share tips, rate products and connect with one another.
Art Preservation Index, pitched by Emily MacDonald-Korth. The Art Preservation Index, or APIx, is a stability rating system for fine art, based on its patent-pending rating algorithm, comprehensive database of art material information, and proprietary mobile art evaluation software.
Coastal Risk Consulting, pitched by Albert Slap. A comprehensive online service called the “Coastal Risk Rapid Assessment” provides a property’s future flood risk, changing the conversation around climate change.
Juana la Iguana, pitched by Tania Gilinski. This learning and entertainment platform will help parents transmit to their kids their values, culture, music and Spanish vocabulary. It looks to launch 20 applications in the next four years.
Stow Simple, pitched by Silvia Camps and Jorge Camps. With the click of a button, Stow Simple will pick up, safely store and return your belongings, with prices comparable to traditional self-storage. The initial target market will be city high-rise dwellers.
The HighBoy, pitched by Douglas Scott and Olga Granda-Scott. Leveraging deep industry experience of its founders, The HighBoy delivers a streamlined method for sourcing and purchasing exceptional antiques, fine art and other historic design items online.
Court Buddy, pitched by by James Jones Jr. and Kristina Jones. Founded by an attorney, this online legal matchmaking system connects people and businesses with affordable attorneys based on their budgets; it gives people, regardless of background or financial situation, access to a legal system.
FlowKPI, pitched by Luis Caro, Ernesto Ruiz and Giancarlo Zarrillo. This provider of business software wants to redefine the tools businesses rely on to accomplish their goals and achieve their real potential. It plans to develop software-as-a-service solutions for different industries.
Relentless Roasters, pitched by Daniel Choiseul Paguaga. A collaborative workspace and specialty coffee café on the FIU campus would serve as a retail location, roasting facility and educational center focused on entrepreneurship and School of Hospitality-connected activities.
Room2Care.com, pitched by Todd Florin and Richard Ashenoff. Leveraging the power of the sharing economy, this end-to-end platform is designed to connect those who need long-term care with those who can provide care in the local community.
Senzu Foods, pitched by Ricardo Delgado and Nicolexander Garza. This company’s goal is to provide a sustainable solution to food security, public health and environmental concerns by becoming a leading producer and distributor of insect-based food products.
Wuelto, pitched by Alejandro Gomez. This global social e-commerce platform provides users with a going-to-a-mall experience by allowing people to share items with friends while also being able to ask questions and interact with the stores.
Where to vote and what’s next?
To cast your votes for the People’s Pick, go to hrld.us/BizPlan2015.
The winners including the People’s Picks, finalists and semifinalists will be unveiled in a special report in Business Monday on April 27.
High School Track finalists
Here are the finalists for the Business Plan Challenge High School Track. Find out the winners April 27.
2 Charge, by David Herrera, Gustavo Ciobataru and Lain Huguet, Gulliver Prep. The 2 Charge Power Card will transfer battery from one phone to another and charge two phones at once, all in one product no bigger than a credit card.
All Pro Sports Highlights, by Emmanuel Cineus, Miami Edison Sr. High. This service business would create customized, personalized mobile apps for athletes, showing highlights and stats and becoming a marketing tool to show to college recruiters.
Find My Dog, by Lucas Lowenstein, Tatiana Ramirez and Sophia Esquenazi, Gulliver. A GPS tracking dog collar would track a dog through a detailed map using the Find My Dog app or website. The collar would also include a fitness monitor and a camera at an extra cost.
Food Pages, by Noah Rolnick and Yoav Grainer, Miami Palmetto Sr. High and Ransom Everglades. An iOS app that would allow users to research food products rated by people like them while earning rewards for their ratings.
Magistrae, by Alain Carles, Ransom Everglades. A smartphone application aims to consolidate and catalog lists of academic tutors, art instructors and sports coaches all in one place, with user profiles, a calendar, ratings and reviews.
Mood4Food, by Alex Levine, Jillian Hersman and Kayla Sharp, Gulliver. A mobile food-ordering company would connect consumers and corporate businesses with thousands of restaurants in South Florida. A portion of the profits would go to charity.
MyScholarship, by Wesley Villano and Eduardo Garcia-Montes, Ransom Everglades. This app would match you to university aid packages and scholarships, with tips on the process and a rating of universities based on affordability.
ROBA, by Gabriela Telepman and Madeleine Granados, Gulliver. This website would act as an outlet to buy fashions worn by popular figures. By clicking on a photo in an article, the customer will be taken to online stores where they can buy that item or one like it.
Savvy Seniors, by Sophie Leon, Ransom Everglades. To help navigate the college application process, Savvy Seniors notifies students and parents about important dates and deadlines.
SOSpeech, by Valentina Barragan and Michelle Palm, St. Thomas Aquinas. This app would perfect the eloquence of your words in presentations, interviews and conversations; itâ€™s targeted at students as well as adults.
Teenography.com, by Katelyn Barclay, University School. This operating teen-owned photography business offers services of talented and ambitious teen photographers at affordable prices.
USA Veteran Transportation, by Alexander Futernick, Ransom Everglades. USAVT strives to be the safest and most reliable transportation service to companies across America while combating nationwide veteran unemployment.