The winner(s) of the annual Business Competition are the entrepreneur(s) who demonstrate, through real world accomplishments, that his/her/their project/idea is the most “funding ready” enterprise in the alliance for that year.
2015 Winner: Sprowt
Christopher Abbott ’15; Major: Anthropology; Minors: Environmental Studies and Education
Sprowt designs and builds home malting systems for the home brewer. Our automated equipment enables home brewers to craft fresh, superior malt at home, dramatically improving the main ingredient of beer. We strive to help home brewers make better beer and to unlock the potential of craft malt for the larger craft beer industry.
2014 Winners: Biznector.com and ENGAGE Now
Cristian Garcia ’16, Major: American Studies
Biznector is a resource for young or growing companies to quickly find and partner with trusted warehousing and fulfillment service providers. We screen every company listed on our database for reliability using a 10-point checklist. Users can filter through the database by service, capability, or industry as well as by government or business accreditations. A marketplace for classified jobs facilitates interactions between users and listed companies.
Jonathan Sommer ’14, Major: Government; Minor: Chinese
ENGAGE Now prepares Chinese students planning on studying at colleges and universities in America for their time in the United States. The program specifically aims to overcome cultural differences and language barriers through one-on-one Skype consultations. ENGAGE Now Skype tutors are distinguished student leaders who are enrolled at a U.S. college or university. Chinese participants sign up for a minimum of 10 consultations that each address a different topic, such as “do’s and don’ts in U.S. culture,” “how to do small talk,” and “American sports and entertainment.”
2013 Winners: Photons and Gopinion
Gift Ntuli ’14, Majors: Physics and Geoscience
Photons is a social enterprise that seeks to address the problem of unavailability of electricity in rural Zimbabwe. We sell affordable solar rechargeable lanterns in remote places of Zimbabwe through contract with rural schools. Fifty percent of the profit is channeled towards Light ZImbabwe, a charity organization that provides solar lamps to poor orphans for studying at night and to internally displaced families in Zimbabwe.
Joe Tagliente ’13, Major: Economics
Gopinion is a consumer reporting service that collects data using micro surveys through a user facing mobile application and web application. This data is then collected and presented in real-time to the business dashboard, which allows managers and executives to manage their businesses’ customer service level. Gopinion provides real-time, viable data about how their business is running provided by customers. Customers are offered immediate rewards for completing micro surveys and are able to redeem those rewards through their mobile device. Presently, Gopinion is in the development stage. Gopinion will be launching in March 2013. Although currently still in development, Gopinion has numerous beta testers in place such as Legal Seafood, Burger King, and Sears holdings.
2012 Winner: RentPrefs
Matthew Boyes-Watson ‘12, Major: Economics
RentPrefs, now Jumpshell (http://www.jumpshell.com/), collects comprehensive renter information through its apartment preference survey. An algorithm uses the survey responses to provide the renter with compatible matches from realtor inventories across the city of Boston. The renter responds to the best matches. RentPrefs aggregates all of the renter’s information, including their availability for a showing, and delivers it to the realtor.
2011 Winners: My Fresh Company LLC and Our Homegrown Collective
My Fresh Maine LLC:
Marcus Josefsson ‘13, Major: Economics-Mathematics
Danny Garin ‘13, Majors: Economics and Government
Noah VanValkenburg ‘13, Major: Government
My Fresh Company LLC owns and operates the e-commerce website myfreshmaine.com, which serves as an online farmers’ market. Each participating farm has its own “virtual storefront” that allows customers to read about the farm, view pictures, and purchase fresh produce and artisan goods. All orders ship directly to the customer within 48 hours of purchase.
Our Homegrown Collective:
Benjamin Weinberger ‘11, Major: Biology; Concentration: Environmental Science
Our Homegrown Collective is a Chicago-based social enterprise that emphasizes healthy, organic eating and the “eat local” movement by starting and maintaining vegetable gardens in people’s yards. Our Homegrown Collective will utilize resources from its own farm and will employ high school students, while also educating them on organic gardening principles but also providing them with business development and management experience.