Florida International University Eugenio Pino & Family Global Entrepreneurship Center

FIU’s Entrepreneur Challenge Awards $25,000 to the Competition Winners

Four start-up ventures from South Florida take home cash prizes in Florida International University’s Entrepreneur Challenge Business Plan Competition.


Miami, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/16/2008 -- Florida International University’s Eugenio Pino & Family Global Entrepreneurship Center (www.entrepreneurship.fiu.edu), a center that provides comprehensive entrepreneurial research, teaching, and outreach, recently announced the winners of its annual Entrepreneur Challenge Business Plan Competition.

On May 13, ten finalist teams presented to twenty of South Florida’s leading entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts. Judges included Mike Tomás and Jorge de Céspedes founders of the ASTRI Group, Gonzalo Acevedo of HSBC Private Bank, Dr. Sanford Ziff founder of Sunglass Hut of America, Ana Cela Harris of Singer Xenos Wealth Management, and Lorenzo Lebrija of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Challenge gave the opportunity for these teams to compete in one of two tracks: Investment or Social. Of the ten finalist teams, one grand prize winner and one runner-up were chosen from each of the two tracks. This year, the concepts were a mix of non-profits and for-profits working in various industries such as internet, green technology, social networking, education, and entertainment.

The 2008 Entrepreneur Challenge Winners are:

Grand Prize Winner: Go Global Education – a website providing standards-based online “global education” programs to public, private and charter schools in the United States.
Team Leader: Archie Jeter - ’06 Master of International Business
Runner-Up: MovieTmedia – a company providing on-demand television to hotels located in the Caribbean using digital technology.
Team Leader: Eduardo Tremols – International Business Student – Junior Level

Grand Prize Winner: My Daily Cause – a website dedicated to aggregating charities and other nonprofit organizations in a way that allow people to donate in small increments via a click-through business model.
Team Leader: Justin Vizaro – International Business Honors Student – Sophomore Level
Runner-Up: NoBo Interactive – an educational and therapeutic toy company dedicated to helping autistic children develop social skills and awareness. Their launch product is a toy called Danny the Dinosaur that incorporates touch screen features.
Team Members: Monica Cadena, Karyne Bury, James Dotson, Arundas Mohandas, and Jorge Bravo – ’08 Master of Business Administration

FIU’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center proudly partnered with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, who sponsored the new Social Track of the competition. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation sponsored the traditional Investment Track. Additional support was also provided by the Miami Herald and HSBC Private Bank.

Over the past 10 years, FIU’s business plan competition, which is open to any FIU student or alumni (the social track is open to all South Florida residents,) and managed by FIU’s Pino Entrepreneurship Center, has seen numerous teams go on to become successful businesses including UnviersityPlacementServices.com, Veterans’ Energy Solutions, Just Ripe Events, Intelli-Math, Global Resource Cycle, and G-Force Tools. Information about past competitions is available on the Challenge web site: http://challenge.fiu.edu.

Whether in the arts, sciences, business, engineering, or humanities, entrepreneurship at FIU adds value to every discipline and enhances the creativity and innovation of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In addition to

facilitating course development throughout FIU, the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center fosters new technology firms, strengthens existing family-owned and managed firms, researches important issues, encourages new community enterprises to improve the economic vitality of South Florida and the Americas, and develops entrepreneurial leaders in all areas. More information at http://www.entrepreneurship.fiu.edu.