New Business Semi-Finalist
Coaches Front Desk
The Diogenes Club
4Urban Enterprise (4U) is a lifestyle, travel and cultural entertainment company that specializes in adventure, educational tourism, urban travel and related activities. It will provide entertainment, custom travel arrangements, and travel packages to young urban professionals, students, educators, and private social clubs and groups.
4U's mission is to become the foremost provider of unique, customized urban experiences focusing on cultural and educational travel and events. 4U's employees and owner are urban culture enthusiasts as well as seasoned travel industry professionals. 4U seeks to connect adventure travel newcomers, students and minorities with service providers, educators, adventure activities, and accommodations that fit the client's desires, budget, and skill level, ultimately offering viable educational and cultural experiences. 4U will submit a proposal to the Minister of Tourism to join together and form a 501C/ NGO organization whose mission will be to influence diverse travelers to experience Cameroon, and to help position Pitti Dibamba as a travel destination.
4U will be a sole proprietorship owned and operated by Chimene Montgomery. The founder, board, and employees of 4U are experienced travel and entertainment industry professionals who are passionate about the activities 4U will promote and offer. 4U's total start-up capital requirement is approximately $5,000. Start-up will be financed through fund-raising and investment capital.
4Urban Enterprise will begin operations in September 2008, and will consist of the following:
Urbansis/Women's Travel Club
An exclusive women's social travel club, it includes expeditions, entertainment, and adventure travel packages throughout the African Diaspora. Urbansis will also customize itineraries and travel trips for individuals, schools, community institutions, and minority social activity clubs and organizations.
My Little Africa/ (Pitti Dibamba Village)
Will offer customized pilgrimage travel itineraries, retreats, and research and educational opportunities to Pitti Dibamba Village in Cameroon, Central Africa. 4U will specifically target the African-American population and promote to them, to discover and experience "Real" Africa.
Host cross-cultural exchange, and enhance travel opportunities for minority youth with New York State Department of Economic Development, the New York Department of Education and Pace University 4Urban Entertainment
Produce world-wide urban events: "Hip Hop World Summit", "International Urban Dance Off," "International Hip-Hop Fashion Show and Pageant," as well as Cultural Summits and Art Showcases.
Chimene Montgomery is a child of Mama Africa's Cameroon. Chimene's seed was planted in Paris and repotted in Washington, DC. At age 16, Chimene juggled work, school and a positive social life, while proving herself to be an achiever. Chimene's academic performance earned her a student exchange scholarship, and for her work with at-risk youth, a United Way Campaign Teenage Appreciation Award, and was featured on the cover of the Washington Post Metro section. Chimene was a concierge for both the Hyatt and W Hotels, where her interest in culture and tourism was peaked. Chimene later joined NYC & Company, where she was responsible for selling New York City to International markets. This experience fueled her desire to create her own tourism company, 4Urban Enterprise. Chimene plans to obtain her MBA, grow her business, travel, and work towards expanding social and economic development in Cameroon, Africa and the US. Chimene is currently a Pace Press Photographer, Women in Corporate America (WICA), and African Students at Pace (ASAP) member. She plans to one day grace the cover of Black Enterprise, and appear on the Oprah Show.
The mission of AngkorPyar Tours is to empower Cambodian American Refugee Deportees (CARDs) to transform their lives and homeland by achieving economic independence a through cooperative social change enterprise. For and by people forcibly deported to Cambodia, AP incorporates education, hands-on training, employment, and mentoring.
Two years ago, Dimple Rana began living in a community of CARDs in Cambodia. She found that finding and retaining employment is the most difficult barrier to reintegration. After fleeing one war torn country and stomaching rejection by another, CARDs do not believe they are valuable. She believes the cooperative enterprise is the best model to empower the disenfranchised as it allows members to share in the profits and encourages community development. AP starts with a radical theory - the key to lasting change starts with supporting individuals to find solutions to their own problems.
Participants will be employees and owners of a cooperative enterprise. Having seen the model work on a small scale, she decided that a cooperative was the best response to the situation of deportees. CARDs jokingly call themselves "permanent tourists," but a bi-national identity enables them to uniquely translate Cambodian culture to tourists from first world countries. Our work aims to improve the quality of life for CARDs, as well as local Cambodians, by reducing the number of likely criminal offenders and giving people the opportunities they never had to succeed.
We launched our organization in March 2007. We have printed business cards and flyers to reach out to local businesses and NGOs to customers already in Cambodia. Via MySpace we are building a larger network with customers who plan to travel to Cambodia. Yet, we do not have a vehicle of our own. Currently, we rent cars from others to provide the services that we offer. Our outreach has been so successful that we don't have enough vehicles to take all of our prospective customers on tours.
An AngkorPyar member has designed a one-of-a-kind tuk tuk, similar to an auto rickshaw, which is currently being reviewed by others members. The members plan to build the tuk tuk on their own with the new design concepts. This new style tuk tuk will become the first of a fleet of vehicles that will be built and used by members. We are also developing a draft business plan to assist us in securing more funds for development, training, formal schooling, and vehicles.
Dimple Rana, a Gujarati Indian American woman, grew up with the Cambodian American community in Massachusetts. She learned about her Indian heritage from Cambodian elders. Dimple helped to start a CA gang at the age of eleven to retaliate against racism and poverty. At the age of 16, she began organizing in a local youth organization and devoted her life to change. Since then, she has worked professionally, academically, and voluntarily within the South East Asian American (SEAA) community for the past 12 years. Dimple has a BS in Community Health, with a focus in disadvantaged young people. She worked at multiple non-profits providing services to SEAA youth and families, specifically around HIV/AIDS, education, employment services, social justice engagement, and Cambodian cultural events. Concerned about the welfare of her deported friends, in 2005 she left to work with Cambodian American Refugee Deportees (CARDs) in Cambodia. She shares a similar past involved with gangs, but what sets her apart is that she changed direction early in life and graduated from college. CARDs see Dimple as a role model and someone who can bring change. She cannot wait for the laws to change; she wants to be the change in lives.
Health is the top most priority of every human being. Giving them an option in horizontal and vertical situations is the best solution to give them satisfaction. Our Web site is a one stop portal for cost efficient & all commercial medical services. www.ClicDrs.com will provide a comprehensive search by region, symptoms of probable disease, cost of medication, support for all medical services, and a listing of all registered hospitals and doctors.
Globally medical services are being used extensively. However, our main function is to bring all of them on a single and simple platform. We will be providing results to various medical searches in a varied and diversified manner. We will be working in coordination with hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, medical laboratories, and pharmacies. Our portal will be providing detailed search results which will be regional, commercial and accredited & will be typically concentrating on registered medical agencies to have an easy and trustworthy operation. Registering the best 50 hospitals in major parts of globe to our portal would be the first target. Users will have options to select and change the region, hospitals, medical laboratories, currency, total time and cost of cure to the best of his requirement.
The major source of income would be the affiliations with medical hospital or center and the advertisements and banners on the right of a search. The more they pay, the more likely it is to be at the top of the list on searches. Portal will have a pay-per-click system for anything between 0.1 cent and $100 per click. Each service purchased through the Web site will be liable for fixed amount of charge. We see break even point after two years of start ups and according to detailed calculation of income; the annual return on investment will be very high depending on initial investments and markets we explore. Being the only player in the segment providing a comprehensive platform for medical search we expect substantial double digit revenue growth every quarter.
Sujal Shah was born and raised in Ahmedabad, India and moved to New York in 2005 to attend Pace University for his MBA in Investment management. After graduating with a BA in Accounting & Auditing, Sujal went on to pursue a Master's degree in Accounting & Auditing at prestigious H.L. College of Commerce, Gujarat University while also working at the Chartered Accountancy Firm back in India.
After 2 years in an accountancy firm, Sujal decided to follow his passion and join a prestigious arbitrage house in India to become an equity trader. He joined the firm as a Buy side Jr. Trader and was soon promoted to Team Leader. Sujal likes following Domestic & Global financial markets - he further worked at the NASD and at Cantor FitzGerald here in New York City. Sujal strongly believes that continuous innovation and high-tech R&D are part of any business. Sujal wants to use his financial skills to start his own Internet venture.
Hiren Trivedi was born and raised in Gandhinagar, India and moved to New York in 2006 to obtain his MBA in Finance from Pace University. Before pursuing his Masters, he worked at General Electric and Wipro for over 2 years.
He worked as a Management Associate on several projects for Dell Inc. and British Petroleum. In New York, he worked as a risk management associate with Asset Alliance; A New York based Hedge fund. Hiren wants to run his own venture and work aggressively to learn and apply his knowledge in developed financial markets in US.
Coaches Front Desk
Coaches Front Desk is a system that would revolutionize the sports industry.
Coaches Front Desk is a management and recruiting tool for coaches in all sports which helps coaches stay organized and save time and money during the recruitment process. Coaches using the system for recruitment purposes would be able to search for certain characteristics in which they are interested in a prospective athlete. An athletic staff would centralize information on the recruit such as basic profile information, and also include recruitment tracking information like games visited and campus visits, etc. Moreover, an athletic staff using the tool to manage their current team would be able to centralize information on players, maintain schedules, and design game plays all in one system. This system would be the first of its kind organizing the communication between coaches and recruiters. Besides being a great communication tool the system can be available remotely through the use of any tool that provides internet connection (i.e. laptops, blackberries, and workstations).
In the sports industry, technology has yet to make a big impact. There is a need for a product like this because there's a vast amount of miscommunication, and lack of organization within the athletic staff. This product has potential to be a standard in the need for how an athletic staff accesses all their information regarding their existing team and prospective athletes. The growth and sales for this product can be very large because it can be used for an amateur athletic team, high school team, and college team; and it can be used for all of the major sports. This would be a great business venture because there's no product like this on the market. This can benefit teams of all sizes. For example, a major Division I program can benefit from a system like this because it keeps track of all prospective athletic inquiries it receives. It would also keep the coaches connected and informed since many times there are away recruiting. A smaller athletic program with fewer resources available to spend seeking out players can benefit from the system by viewing prospective athletes tapes online instead of viewing their game in person which may be in another state.
Coaches Front Desk is a product that will set the standard for athletic staff throughout every sport and give them an edge over competition by managing and organizing the team more efficient and improving their recruitment process.
"By any means necessary" - Malcolm X, civil rights leader and activist
Michael Gleen McKenzie, Jr. knows that he will reach his goals in any way he can, no matter how unclear the path. He is willing to work hard and make sacrifices in order to accomplish these goals.
Michael was born and raised in New York City. Growing up, he didn't have many role models; most of his friends were not planning on attending college and none of his family members attended college. In this environment, most thought that participating in sports was the only way to obtain a better life. Interestingly enough, through sports Michael realized there are other ways to improve one's life.
Michael graduated from All Hallows Institute and was the first in his family to attend college. He received his BS in Computer Science from SUNY-Potsdam. Michael is currently working towards his M.S. in Information Systems at Pace University while working for Morgan Stanley as an Information Technology Analyst. Michael was born with entrepreneurial spirit and his goal is to have a career which encompasses all he is passionate about - business, sports, and technology.
The Diogenes Club
The Diogenes Club fulfills a need that all New Yorkers have for peace and quiet. Our homes, our offices, subways, the local café - all are often noisy with street traffic, radios and iPods, car horns and sirens, ringing phones, panhandlers, barking dogs, crying children. People who need to do serious mind-engaging work are challenged to find a quiet time and place. The Diogenes Club is the solution.
The Diogenes Club offers private, quiet, comfortable, well-appointed places for work or rest. The Club consists of the reception area - The Strangers' Room - where talking is permitted, and the Quiet Room, where talking and any unnecessary noise is strictly forbidden. The work area is divided by heavy drapery into small enclosed bays, each equipped with a comfortable recliner, a side table, a laptop, intercom system, and a pad and pencil. These bays are rented by the hour, with monthly and yearly subscriptions also available. A water carafe is provided; a healthy selection of drinks free of sugar, caffeine, and preservatives are available for purchase. To order a drink, additional pillows, water, magazines, to request technical support, or any other kind of customer service, the client simply uses the instant messaging service installed on the laptop to summon a staff member. Alternately, he may press a button on the intercom to request assistance. When the staff member arrives, the client may communicate either by typing, writing on the pad, or pointing to a handy paper menu with common requests as well as the beverage and magazine menu.
The golden rule of the Diogenes Club is "quiet, please." Talking is strictly forbidden in the Quiet Room, and the room is monitored to prevent transgressions. Upon arrival, clients are encouraged, though not required, to remove their shoes, and slippers are provided. A selection of magazines is offered, and then the client is escorted to a bay that has been prepared with clean sheets, pillowcase, and blanket, and a fresh carafe of water on the nightstand. Once settled in, the client may begin working on the laptop, or if he prefers, simply relax and think. Sleeping is not discouraged.
Typical clientele are expected to be business people, writers, graduate students, homemakers, and those who live with room-mates. The Diogenes Club will launch in the Financial District of Manhattan, with additional locations planned for other areas of the New York and other large metro areas throughout the country.
Rachel Klingberg is a native New Yorker and the Webmaster for the Lubin School of Business. Born and raised on Long Island, Rachel Klingberg moved to Manhattan in 1991 to attend Pace University, where she earned a BA in English Literature in 1995. Rachel also attained an MA in English Literature from New York University. She spent several years working for the now-defunct Book Magazine, a Barnes & Noble asset, before being hired by Pace in 2002. Currently she is pursuing an MS in Computer Science at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science.
Rachel is also a short story writer and avid martial artist. She is the author of many instructional essays about martial arts. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys volunteering at an animal shelter, cooking vegetarian meals, and computer programming.
Technology is here to stay and is often a major form of communication, through the computer. However, there are still major needs of advancement, to allow for all people to engage in this type of exchange. With this in mind, my colleagues and I designed a foot controlled input device. The Etch-a-Mouse started as a term project, but has now become a tool of necessity.
Although, Etch-a-Mouse began as a class project, it is now growing into a viable and useful business venture. Etch-a-Mouse is a computer device, designed to be used by individuals who may only have use of their feet. While other foot-controlled assistive input devices exist, our prototype is contained in a single unit, with buttons conveniently located at the front and rear of the encasement and an easy to control trackball. Depending on the individual's need, the foot mouse can be used by either foot, still allowing all the same capabilities. The Etch-a-Mouse is designed to be user-friendly, for both children and adults.
The Etch-a-Mouse connects to the computer via a USB port or a mini DIN. The mechanics of this device are based around a traditional computer mouse, which is enhanced for use by people with special needs. The design is made to be cost effective and far less expensive than other assistive devices available.
Through trial and error, research and speaking directly to consumers, we have improved on our product. Each time we meet as a group, we are sure to refer back to our obtained knowledge, which allows us to ensure we are keeping the consumers' needs in mind. We have also researched other input devices, but through talking with consumers, it was quick to see that the high price and limited capability was impeding on their ability to obtain and use these devices.
We stand behind our product and feel that it will better serve the populace in need.
Nicole Tantillo recently received a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Secondary Education from St. Thomas Aquinas College. She is currently pursuing her master's degree full time at Pace University in the Educational Technology program. In the future, as part of this program, she plans on teaching high school chemistry while implementing appropriate technologies to complement learning. This is Nicole's first entrance into the world of entrepreneurship which was prompted by her studies in Educational Technology at Pace. With her passion for teaching, Nicole hopes that this venture will result in people with disabilities being better equipped to learn and grow.
Kelly Verdina has recently returned to Westchester County, where she was born and raised. Kelly is currently teaching 6th grade science, and will receive an MS in Educational Technology in 2009 from Pace University. At the age of 19, Kelly moved to New Jersey, where she pursued a BA in Elementary Education and Humanities, with a concentration in Spanish. Kelly then became a fourth grade teacher, where she also spent time volunteering and helping students achieve their goals, while challenging them to go beyond their expectations. Kelly is aware of the different learning styles in a classroom setting and has always put forth all of her efforts to accommodate each child on their own level, while reaching each child's specific needs. Kelly feels her experience in the classroom can also help her assist people of varying needs and ages. Kelly has always had a love for technology and desire to help those in need. She has spent much of her time volunteering with children, both in and out of school; because she feels that a positive influence can make a difference in a person's life.
At The Jobmint.com, we seek to create a ground-breaking way to match up employers and employees. We aim to do this by developing a method for the employee to enter their employment information that organizes their resume for skills and achievements that the prospective employer is looking for, in order to be the employment search engine of choice for employers.
As anyone who has tried to hire candidates from Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder, etc. knows, many companies offer job titles that make quick comparisons between two very equal positions very hard to make. This leads to searching companies missing candidates that should be seen, because they were looking to hire a bank manager, not a Vice President. Furthermore, the JobMint will offer 5 to 20 minute online tests that objectively gauge an employee's skills letting the employee and the employer get a much better idea of how well they really know Excel, on a scale of 1 - 10.
At this point, the JobMint is offering a 60% profit stake towards our startup goal of $2 million dollars, the amount that we estimate we need to get the service running for a two year period, and develop the core network of employees and employers that will help the service start running. Our initial market will be tailored for entry - mid career positions, those that pay between $27k and $55k, and initially focusing on the retail market in the northeast US. This pay range is where most Americans' pay rates fall into, and the retail market is marked by rapid turnover, and online solutions tend to be the least effective because of the sheer numbers of candidates that an employer must look at. That these positions also are more likely to have skills that can be effectively measured via the internet is an added bonus.
The Jobmint's revenue model will be employer search driven, supplemented by employee focused ads where appropriate.
Randy Aimone is 33 years old, and was born in Cornwall, NY. He will receive his MBA in Marketing in August 2008 from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. His undergraduate degree from Fredonia was in Organizational Psychology with a minor in information systems.
In the working world, he has worked as an intelligence analyst for the US Army, as a Brookstone Store manager, and as a regional manager for a company that developed and maintained web sites for car dealerships. Randy is presently the Brand manager for Raia Properties. The idea for Jobmint came about from his last experience in job searching and the realization that there is clearly a better way then what is currently out there. After realizing that most Human Resources professionals are just as frustrated with the electronic searching, Randy began realizing that there may just be an opportunity.
Randy was married in 2004, and presently has no kids as he is "Waiting to grow up first." His hobbies include: riding roller coasters- virtual and real, martial arts- Akido in particular, and video games. Randy also volunteers his marketing talents for "Hands-On the Hudson Valley" a company that works to coordinate teens and jobs in the local community.