The Daily Gamecock

Students present business plans

Cash prizes awarded to top three proposals

Five groups of finalists in the Darla Moore School of Business are tasked with presenting the strongest business plan they can create before a panel of judges in the Global Entrepreneurship Week Business Plan Competition.

Contestants received a copy of Business Plan Pro, a specialized computer software that assisted them as they created their plans and encouraged the students to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

Student Government business and community relations secretary Jocelyn Paonita, a third-year management science student who will double as a judge in the competition, wrote in an email that the software "has enabled those with entrepreneurial dreams to begin developing a concrete format or continue what they have already started."

Even more, she said, "It has spurred ideas among students who never imagined becoming entrepreneurs."

The plans students have proposed represent a diversity in ideas. Fourth-year accounting student Eliza Lotozo, for example, is presenting "ReCreAte," a café/boutique fusion bistro in south Philadelphia that will serve up "local, fresh foods, with a focus on offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options," according to Lotozo's proposal.

Coming from Hong Kong, first-year international business and Chinese enterprise students Yee Lin Chan, Yuen Yee Sze and Tsz Ling Lau are all working together on Roller Coaster, a Japanese restaurant.

Second-year visual communications student Daniel Knotts will present a software system that would enable advertisers to come into instant contact with users before launching an Internet browser.

Fourth-year sports and entertainment marketing student Stephen Bateman is crafting "Good Morning Gamecock," which would send a daily news roundup to students' email accounts.

Second-year international business and real estate student Zach Roth will pitch a charitable poker room, "Aces Up," that would support Delaware nonprofit organizations.

"After Delaware passed the law allowing charitable gaming, I knew that I wanted to open up a charitable poker room to be able to give back to the Delaware community," Roth said.

He has been considering this plan for nearly a year, and the competition gave him the chance he needed to sell it.

"Once I saw the opportunity to enter the Business Plan Competition, I knew that I had to enter Aces Up," he said.

The winner will receive $1,500. Second and third place winners will earn $1,000 and $500, respectively.

In addition to Paonita, judges will come from some of the competition's sponsoring organizations. Josh Hackler of Spanish Vines, Candice and Aaron Hark of Maxient, Craig Heyward of Shore Holdings, Greg Hilton of EngenuitySC and Ian Steen of the campus's Entrepreneurship Club will round out the panel.