Business Plan Challenge

Business Plan Challenge finalists, semifinalists represent big range of industries



AlphaTechBlocks, by Marilu Kernan, Taryn Keim and Leslie Pinto, will create digital interactive alphabet blocks. With the accompanying mobile apps, kids learn ABCs and words in English and Spanish. This team plans to go to market this fall and is looking for the right angel investor.

Gift Wrap My Face, by Vanessa Clavijo-Rivero, Aryel Rivero, Jessica Van Sack, Kathleen McIntyre, Fernanda Bressan and Pablo Bressan, is the cure for the common gift. It allows the gift-giver to design his or her own selfie wrapping paper. The company’s product has been highlighted by Kelly Ripa and Oprah.

TradeLanes, by Vijay Harrell, Matthew Drazan and Corey Myers, automates document preparation for exporters. Exporters can orchestrate demand planning, supplier performance, inventory management and end-to-end logistics in one application. This team relocated from San Francisco and is part of the Venture Hive accelerator.


AlulA, by Thomas R. Byrd Jr., Jason S. Keasler and Joe Rjeili, offers a universal solution to affordably broadcast critical aircraft diagnostic information in real time.

ChallengeStar, by Jed Royer, is a new mobile app that allows you to raise money and awareness via social media by leveraging the social networks of your supporters. It is gamifying fundraising in a fun, familiar and legal way.

Drinkables, by Mark Kahn and Douglas Halperin, will offer advertising space on 16-ounce plastic cups (think red Solo cups) and distribute them to fraternities through a bi-monthly subscription model.

HeroBoys, by Ed and Crissi Boland, will produce toys and related products featuring a team of six child superheroes brought together by their mentor, “The Gentleman,” to help save a city being overwhelmed by self-centered behavior. (formerly My Style Blox), by Sandy Kacura and Mario Aguayo, is a marketplace for the fashion industry where talent and client can come together and conduct business, removing middlemen and agencies from the process.

Pets2Go International, by Angelina Cortez, Blair Blacker and Torben Riise, has developed and tested a portable litter system for cats and a portable abode for dogs that address the needs of traveling families. Both products are easy to assembly, disposable and biodegradable.

Zulubots, by Elizabeth De Zulueta, Monica De Zulueta and Julian Francisco De Zulueta, is a consumer robotics company that focuses on the design and fabrication of assistive robots for the home. The Carrli robot, for instance, helps lift and carry objects.


Joust, by Franco Aquino, Julio Benavides, Jonas Erthal and Alejandro Jerez, is an online platform that facilitates the quoting and payment process for automotive services. This team is focusing on the hot college market at FIU first.

Settleitsoft, by Antonio Garcia, Mazin Fitiany, Carlos Garcia, Martha Henry, Wilson Velandia and Rich Rudner, offers a free Web-based debt-negotiation platform to help resolve the global economic problem of consumer default on contractual obligations.


Access-Able, by Emma Ronzetti and Laura Zaidenberg of Ransom Everglades, is an app that would enable people with disabilities to enjoy restaurants or other venues, as well as create an incentive for venues to be more accessible to all.

Inti Totes, by Gabriella Cepeda of Palmer Trinity, is a social enterprise that would sell reusable tote-bag kits crafted by artisans in Peru including the Inti Tote, a reusable mesh bag for produce and a reusable bulk back. Part of the profits go to support the Peruvian artisan community.

Kar Kit, by Andrew Hurowitz, Cole Becker, Matthew Steiner, Alexis Bogomolni and Jordan Ellman of the University School at NSU, is a convenient bag of car-safety and personal-essentials items that every driver should have — but rarely does. It also contains a “no texting while driving” pledge card.

On The Go, by Carlos Dulcey, Khalil Ali and Felipe Granziera of Gulliver Preparatory, is a device on shopping carts that would allow people to scan and pay for products, making this a mobile “self-checkout system.”

Plans, by David A. Spiegel of Miami Beach Senior High, seeks to help college-age students find groups of other students with similar interests to hang out with; this app would also offer group discounts.

Rolling with the Homies, by Alexandra Barbat of Atlantic Technical High School, would create custom-made wheelchairs for people with disabilities. The company believes wheelchairs should reflect the owner’s individuality.

StudentArtDepot, by Megan Zou of Ransom Everglades, is an online platform and marketplace for student-created works of art, conceived by a student artist.

Try It!, by Natalie Fredman, Alejandro Sannia, Corey Kraftsow and Jacob Sokol of Ransom Everglades, envisions a mobile app that curates instantaneous fun. Instructors deliver on-demand lessons in anything from painting to Latin to lacrosse.

VitaPet, by Paula Ceballos, Lucie Gibeau and Emma Guitar of Gulliver Preparatory, is a proprietary, all-natural liquid vitamin being developed by Paula that you can drop into your dog’s water and it doesn’t change the taste. This team won the 2016 South Florida Business Plan Competition.