The St. Thomas Business Plan Competition invited another set of competitors to its virtual event this year. New to the 2021 competition are alumni who graduated within the past five years. Students competed in one of two tracks – undergraduate or graduate student/recent alumni. Up-and-coming entrepreneurs competed for a total of $38,000 in cash prizes, with the top winners walking away with $10,000 at the Feb. 19 finals. Students submitting to the competition represented 29 majors. 

The St. Thomas Business Plan competition is a wonderful opportunity for students who are seriously interested in starting their businesses to get the support and guidance they need to flesh out, test and strengthen their ideas with experienced mentors and judges as well as to accumulate seed capital that can allow them to start making their dreams reality,” said Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Associate Dean Laura Dunham. It was exciting to see the tremendous talent and creativity of the students and alumni who participated and presented their ideas. They are all off to a great start! 

Undergraduate Student Track Finalists: 

  • First place ($10,000): Fendesha – Abenezer Ayana ’21 (computer science). A Netflix-like streaming platform for Ethiopian movies and shows.  
  • Second place ($5,000): VisUplan  Rachel Farah ’21 (computer engineering) and Kevin Malmsten ’21 (computer engineering). Visual planning app to assist children who have autism spectrum disorder and bring structure to their lives. 
  • Third place ($2,500): Atlys – Charles Schwinck ’22 (financial management) and Izzy Iliff ’21 (English). An intuitive online marketplace, centered in sustainability and dedicated to the mission of promoting ethical shopping habits.  
  • Fourth place ($1,000): FreshConnect – Matthew Donley ’22 (Catholic studies). Online marketplace where anyone looking to buy or sell homegrown produce or animal products locally can do so easily.  
  • Fifth place ($500): Fly! – David Shipp ’23 (entrepreneurship and marketing). Fly is the Uber of aviation and allows users to connect with independent pilots to fly users to the destination of their choice. 

View the elevator pitches for the Undergraduate Student Track. 


Graduate Student/Recent Alumni Track Finalists: 

  • First place ($10,000): Auris AI  Ebenezer Dadson ’21 (MS in electrical engineering), Angelica Franashouk ’22 (marketing) and John Wallace ’20 (electrical engineering). AI-assisted stethoscopes that capture, analyze and interpret acoustic signals and indicates results in real time. 
  • Second place ($5,000): CampusBites – Eric Martin ’19 (entrepreneurship and real estate) and Jackie Page ’20 (entrepreneurship and marketing)CampusBites offers a trio of software solutions allowing colleges and universities to offer mobile ordering, on-campus food delivery, and contactless in-person ordering kiosks.  
  • Third place ($2,500): StatTrick – William Griffith ’16 (financial management) and Ben Sjodin ’16 (financial management). StatTrick eliminates the difficulty of entering sports stats and results by offering statistic and data entry as a service to sports teams.  
  • Fourth place ($1,000): OneU – Kyle Andrews ’16 (entrepreneurship). OneU’s software platform brings clarity and simplicity to college degree planning and selection process.  
  • Fifth place ($500): Blushing Tide Charters – Audrey Meyer ’20 J.D. A private sailing charter company serving Boston Harbor and the New England coast that provides learning experiences from the sailor’s perspective.   

View the elevator pitches for the Graduate Student/Recent Alumni Track.

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