Finalists


NEW BUSINESS CONCEPTS

FitHopper
The Lean Canteen
Reslutions

SOCIAL VENTURES

Guiding Proud
Little Big Loan
Malo Traders
 

New Business Concept

Reslutions
The management team behind Reslutions' has substantial experience in various housing professional capacities, and this experience has opened their eyes to a number of problems encountered by housing and student affairs professionals across the country. Today, housing departments license and subscribe to multiple services in order to undertake the various tasks associated with their department and other student affairs roles. This is costly, confusing and not intuitive for users, and causes extreme infoglut as the respective stakeholders need to process information coming at them from multiple sources. The Reslutions' team has also identified substantial opportunities in the underserved areas or roommate matching and threat assessment on campus.

Reslutions has developed a platform that digitizes and streamlines all of the processes associated with a collegiate housing department. We work with housing and residential life departments' to identify opportunities for process improvement. Based on our client assessment, we then develop and deploy customizable web-based applications that are guaranteed to satisfy the needs and wants or our clients. Some of these solutions include things like guest management, mail room management, room transfer requests, various reporting processes, and programming for the residence halls. Furthermore, Reslutions is currently developing a breakthrough Facebook application that will set the standard for compatibility-based roommate matching in the future. The team is also developing a threat assessment tool that is based on the framework developed by NaBITA.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) forecasts college enrollment of 19.5 to 20.3 million in 2015, representing a two to three million student increase from the estimated 17.5 million in 2006. Today, there are approximately 2.1 million college students that live on campus, and these residents end up paying about $13.3 billion annually to live on-campus.

While the focus is on student affairs and housing at colleges, some of the technologies are relevant and applicable to the following areas: Residential and commercial buildings, and elementary, middle, and high schools.

Reslutions uses a subscription business model, and the terms are semesters or trimesters depending on how the client operates. Furthermore, pricing is dependent upon the number of solutions the school needs, and the number of users at the school.

Reslutions will market itself by demoing and exhibiting at industry conferences put on my organizations such as the Association of Collegiate and University Housing Officers International (Acuho-i). The sales strategy also incorporates a Business Development Partner Network where seasoned housing professionals will be compensated with a commission for bring Reslutions new business. Strategic partnerships with organizations such as SunGard, EducationDynamics, and Blackboard are also in the works.

Reslutions has already gained traction at Pace University by implementing its service in August 2010, and they have recently become an approved vendor at Pace University. They have several conversations going on with other institutions outside of Pace, and are looking forward to sitting down and meeting with some of these decision makers at other schools. They have successfully tracked over 25,000 guests, tracked over 4,000 packages, reduced costs by about $5,000, reduced the carbon foot print, and have visibly increased the level of security at Pace University.

Reslutions has $8,000-$15,000 coming down the pipeline in the next nine months, and they are projecting roughly $7.8 million in revenue over the course of the first three years of doing business. They are in the process of raising about $30,000 in seed-financing, and look to raise $250,000 in the first year.
 

  [Jeremy Pease]
 
  [Stiliyan Lazarov]
  [Robert Caucci]

Biographies

Jeremy Pease, Application Architect and Lead Developer
Jeremy Pease is a Co-Founder and the lead developer/ application architect at Reslutions. When Jeremy was 18 years old, he started his own in-home and in-office computer servicing business in South Florida. As soon as he wrote his first Hello World program he fell in love and hasn't stopped programming since. He is currently the student government president of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University. He also works for the Seidenberg School as the Executive Director of Pace Web Media. There, he manages numerous projects, and designs, develops, and troubleshoots websites. Jeremy is a senior resident advisor, and has been involved with residential life for three years.

Jeremy has experience with PHP, CSS, Javascript, HTML, Flash, Flex, Unix, Apache, SQL, SML, and loves learning new things.

Stiliyan Lazarov, System Architect and Main User Advocate
Stiliyan Lazarov is a Co-Founder and the System Architect at Reslutions; his main responsibility is ensuring that the firms' technology scales nicely. Stiliyan is currently a Senior Resident Advisor with the Office of Housing and Residential Life at Pace University. This is his fourth year working in collegiate housing across various campuses, and he has vast domain knowledge and experience. Stiliyan graduated first in his class in Spring 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Pace University. He has continued his education at Pace, and is currently studying towards his Master of Science degree in Software Development and Engineering. He is also working towards his Certified Software Development Associate certification, issued by the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Robert Caucci, Director of Business Development
Rob Caucci is a Co-Founder and the Director of Business Development at Reslutions. Rob is very involved with the tech community in New York City, and he will be graduating this May from Pace U. with a dual-degrees in Entrepreneurship (BBA) and Business Economics (BS). Rob is the Co-Founder and President at Effin' Textbooks (www.effintextbooks.com and http://apps.facebook.com/effintextbooks/ ). He is a past Social Venture Award winner at Start-Up Weekend NYC (Donor Universal- September 2010). He is the Co-Founder and President of Pace' Students In Free Enterprise chapter. Most recently, Rob helped the Business Solutions team at the The Dannon Company implement a predictive modeling solution. He was the Assistant Director of College Development at CleanEdison (www.cleanedison.com), a NYC start-up in the "green space", and he also served as a Sales and Marketing Consultant at San Francisco-based start-up, CityMint (www.citymint.com). Rob is also in his 3rd year as a resident advisor.

FitHopper
The fitness industry in the United States currently produces $17.6 billion annually and has doubled in size over the last 10 years. At the same time, 85% of the health club market remains untapped. Increasingly, fitness consumers prefer an "a-la-carte" approach to purchasing, which conflicts with the traditional "big-box" gym business model. "Big box" gyms attempt to offer "something for everybody" under a single roof, requiring all members to pay for nearly all services, regardless of which services were actually rendered to each member. Though "big box" gyms are in decline, many specialized and niche-oriented fitness service providers continue to emerge and thrive because they are allowing customers to pay for precisely what they want.

FitHopper will establish a network of fitness service providers that allows consumers to purchase fitness memberships that they tailor to their own preferences, schedules, and locations. Customers will be able to purchase the following at www.FitHopper.com, and FitHopper will ensure that the fitness service providers are compensated solely on the basis of usage:
 

  1. A fitness membership that grants access to hundreds of fitness service providers in their local area and thousands throughout the world.
  2. Gift certificates that can be redeemed at hundreds of fitness service providers in their local area and thousands throughout the world.
  3. Coupon deals promoting specific fitness service providers.

Visitors to www.FitHopper.com will also be able to view and post ratings, reviews, and rankings of fitness service providers in the FitHopper Network.

FitHopper will target young professionals ages 18-35 that live in large urban areas and enjoy trying new fitness activities with their friends. Several other companies - such as GlobalFit and Healthways - have built networks of traditional fitness centers for the purpose of marketing discounted memberships to employees of corporations, enabled by health club membership subsidies offered via corporate wellness programs. FitHopper's memberships and gift certificates will be promoted primarily via corporate wellness programs, social networking websites, coupon deal websites (such as Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com), and sporting goods stores.

The founder and CEO, Darren Shearer, served as a Captain in the United States Air Force and has six years of leadership and management experience, holds an M.A. degree, and expects to complete an M.B.A. at Pace University in August 2012. Ajay Gupta and Fingent, Inc. will handle the web development and IT-related responsibilities.

The first year will be dedicated primarily to building the FitHopper Network of fitness service, with revenues expected to reach $680K. Revenues are expected to reach $3 million by the second year when FitHopper begins selling memberships in addition to gift certificates and coupon deals. The startup cost is $120K, and breakeven is expected to occur during the twenty-first month of operations. FitHopper's mission is to connect people with their most compatible fitness service providers, increasing customers for fitness service providers and helping people to sustain active lifestyles for a lifetime.
 

  [Darren Paul Shearer]

Biography

Darren Paul Shearer is the founder and CEO of FitHopper, a New York-based health and wellness company that connects people with their most compatible fitness service providers, helping people to sustain active lifestyles for a lifetime. As a Captain in the United States Air Force, Darren earned the Commendation Medal for his meritorious service in Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Darren is pursuing currently a Master of Business Administration at Pace University. He has served as the Academic Writing Instructor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA where he also completed a Master of Arts degree in the field of Practical Theology. Darren's first book, In You God Trusts: The Five Domains of Personal Responsibility, released in March of 2010 and was named "Best Self-Published Christian Living Book" at the 2010 Christian Choice Book Awards. He is originally from Columbia, South Carolina and currently resides in New York, New York.

The Lean Canteen
The Lean Canteen will be the only mobile food cart in NYC committed to providing an alternative way of eating lunch outside the office that supports a healthy and active lifestyle. By providing nutritional meals for a low cost, The Lean Canteen (TLC) will strive to become one of the most respected, eco-friendly and health-conscious mobile food units in the City. Since eating out is expensive with a limited number of healthy alternatives, it will be The Lean Canteen's mission to provide its customers the largest selection of nutritious meals, snacks and drinks for a low cost.

TLC will operate in the Financial District from a ten foot long enclosed mobile food trailer designed as an emergency canteen. With the nation facing an obesity epidemic and a growing number of people trying to live and eat better, a unique sales market has been created that promotes healthy meals for a discounted price. TLC can provide this service by being the first establishment ever that will cook to order Lean Cuisine Market Creations (Steamed Entrees), Casual Cuisine (Paninis, flatbreads and pizzas) and Spa Cuisine (Classic favorites) frozen entrees. The Lean Canteen will not only be known for its convenience and large variety, but also for its advertised low price of $6.50 for a nutritious and satisfying meal consisting of a frozen entrée and low calorie side.

The frozen entrée industry is already an established multi-billion dollar market with brand name recognition relating to nutrition, quality, consistency and taste. While fast food restaurants also use frozen products, healthy frozen entrées are only inconveniently located in the local grocer's freezer and not cooked-to-order anywhere. The Lean Canteen will do exactly what every fast food chain does, but instead of deep-frying or grilling its frozen products, TLC will use microwave steam and grilling technology to cook its food. This way of cooking is not only healthier, but it also locks in nutrients and flavor while evenly cooking every ingredient.

With recent microwave innovations, Lean Cuisine has been able to formulate award winning frozen dinners that are convenient, great tasting and pre-portioned. TLC will make these same entrees more convenient and satisfying by combining them with frozen vegetables, healthy snacks and other low calorie products. All meals will be approximately 500 calories and TLC will also offer fresh fruit, breakfast items, meal replacement bars, nutritional beverages and gourmet coffee and teas. Not only will all nutritional information with precise amounts be clearly posted and available, but also for the first time, consumers will be able to have lunch out and know their exact dietary intake.

Jared Domingos will be the principal owner and operator of The Lean Canteen, bringing with him both experience and knowledge in the mobile food industry, as well as in customer service and independent business operations. Jared has the capabilities and training to successfully administer TLC and will use his extensive knowledge of various mobile food units to produce high growth and profitability in a radically new food service company. The Lean Canteen will use social media to interact and connect with customers while also being able to offer coupons, solicit feedback and raise awareness for its innovative service. TLC will strive to become the most health-oriented, environmentally- conscious mobile food unit with an additional emphasis on integrity, cleanliness and convenience. TLC will look to the future by having multiple canteen locations, using solar panels and energy efficient generators to power the microwaves and by giving a portion of its profits to local charities such as the New York City Food Bank. Dedication to health, integrity, variety, cleanliness and customer satisfaction will set The Lean Canteen apart from any other food vendor.
 

  [Jared Domingos]

Biography

My name is Jared Domingos and I am a full time graduate student enrolled in the Lubin School of Business 5 year CPA Preparation - Combined Public Accounting BBA/MBA program at Pace University. I started at Pace University as a freshman in 2006 and this will be my last semester with an expected graduation date of May 2011. I currently live in the financial district of Manhattan which has given me a college experience that few other students have ever had. Ever since high school when I participated in the Future Business Leaders of America and was an Independent Business Owner for Quixtar, I have had an entrepreneurial spirit that still continues to thrive. After taking an internship at National Securities my sophomore year, I completed my series 7 exam and became an independent licensed stock broker dealer. Small business ownership has always been my passion and I believe that New York City is the best place to pursue my desires and aspirations of owning a business.
 

Social Venture


Guiding Proud
Guiding Proud is a youth mentoring program which matches LGBTQ youth with LGBTQA adults in an effort to foster self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of worth among today's LGBTQ youth. Guiding Proud's purpose is to break down the isolation many LGBTQ youth feel as a result of bullying, societal stereotypes and discrimination, as well as provide a role model, guidance and support for the youth.

While society is hard for all teens, life is particularly more difficult for LGBTQ teens. Many are facing severe stresses in their lives, whether it be bullying, harassment, or thoughts of suicide. An adult mentor can help improve a teen's self-esteem, by making them feel more supported.

The ultimate goal of Guiding Proud is to provide a mentor and role model who can relate to the LGBTQ youth's experience and struggle with self-acceptance and self-care. Guiding Proud's mentors provide LGBTQ adolescent the guidance, empowerment, stability and trust, which leads to improved self-esteem and ultimately, an overall better quality of life. When teachers, peers, parents and even Facebook friends can't provide the support LGBTQ kids need, Guiding Proud's mentors are there to see LGBTQ youth through to a brighter day.

Guiding Proud's program matches LGBTQ mentees between the ages of 14-24 with responsible and caring mentors who have successfully embraced their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity and are available to mentor on a one-to-one basis.

Guiding Proud's mentees and mentors will meet in person three to four times per month on-site and off-site. Mentors will be encouraged to expose their mentees to meaningful activities, including finding a hobby, participating in sports, attending sporting events, attending museums, schoolwork, completing college or job applications, and beyond. Mentors and mentees will also keep in consistent contact between meetings via phone calls and emails. The match commitment is for one year at minimum. Guiding Proud will begin the program with approximately 7 youth for the first year and grow by 50 percent in years two and three.
 

  [Natasha Dillon]

Biography

Natasha Dillon is a full-time MBA student at Pace University and is expected to graduate in December 2011. In 2007, Natasha graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor's degree in Investment Finance. After graduation, Natasha moved to New York City to pursue a career in investment finance. Natasha worked for two and a half years at AllianceBernstein alongside financial advisors and portfolio managers.

Though Natasha has continued to study and pursue business, she has also dedicated much time and energy advocating for LGBT rights. As one of the founders of New York City's Queer Rising, Natasha has been active in the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and pushes for other LGBT focused legislation.

Little Big Loan
Opportunity Overview:
In America today, there are a large number of underprivileged youth that cannot attend college due to financial challenges. By not going to college, they perpetuate the poverty cycle and settle for jobs that offer limited prospects. We have the opportunity to change the lives of these underprivileged youth by giving them access to an alternative source of education funding. Our proposal is to create an innovative web portal that will connect student borrowers with individual lenders (peer-to-peer lending). The peer-to-peer lending industry has seen significant growth in the past few years, but still lacks a company solely focused on education lending, which we think is crucial to breaking the poverty cycle and changing people's lives.

Market Problem and Solution:
Education is the key to breaking the poverty cycle and unlocking one's potential. An education affords youth opportunity and choices to direct their future – and greatly benefits the surrounding community as these people create value. Education is maybe the highest value-added investment anyone can make for themselves – but unfortunately, too often, people cannot simply afford higher education opportunities.

This is the problem we will work to solve with Little Big Loan – building the access to capital for the underprivileged through a peer-to-peer lending network. Our website will connect borrowers to lenders, allowing socially valuable loans to flow to those who can use it to build themselves a future.

Again, these are target markets that all too often find it difficult to access capital despite the small size of the funds required. We believe this concept will be a win-win – allowing borrowers to access capital and allowing lenders to find a socially responsible yet also profitable investment.

Business Model:
Little Big Loan is a transaction-based business model driven by one key revenue source: a small fee for every loan that gets funded through our website. Our website will display a database of borrowers' requests for loans – these requests will be standardized and sort-able by various characteristics. Any potential lender can then logon to their personal account and scan through the loan offers or search for specific characteristics in the borrowers requests. We are hopeful that this search-ability concept will draw in lenders who will build personal connections to borrowers with certain characteristics - these personal connections will build a user base of repeat lenders and separate us from the colder alternatives in the world of lending.

Social Return and Impact:
Little Big Loan aims to break down any financial barriers that exist for underprivileged youth to attend college. Quantifying this social impact, male college graduates earn on average $20,000 more per year versus male high-school graduates and female college graduates earn on average $17,000 more per year versus female high school graduates (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=77 ). Over the course of a lifetime, college graduates earn approximately $2.1 million while high school graduates earn approximately $1.2 million, a difference of $900,000 (http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa072602a.htm)
 

  [Vishnu Murthy]
 
  [Eric Rosenblatt]

Biographies

Vishnu Murthy is the CEO of LBL and has a broad set of work experience since working in New York City since 2004. Initially joining Lehman Brothers as a trader out of college and following the typical Wall Street path, Mr. Murthy left after 4 years to pursue his entrepreneurial desires.

Working at an online retail start-up managing business strategy and online marketing further fueled Mr. Murthy's entrepreneurial spirit. Simultaneously to Mr. Murthy's career has been a consistent and deep passion for social and civic service, illustrated by his extensive experience working with underprivileged youth since high school and beyond. Currently, Mr. Murthy is in his second year as an MBA student at the NYU Stern School of Business and he holds a bachelor of science in Statistics and Economics from The George Washington University.

Eric Rosenblatt is the COO of LBL. Mr. Rosenblatt was previously a Vice President at Guggenheim Partners, where he worked for five years. Based in New York City, Mr. Rosenblatt was in the Leverage Debt Group where he focused on the media, technology, and telecom industries as a financial analyst. The position exposed him to multiple areas of deal making and diligence work, including: evaluation of opportunities, financial modeling and research, financial due diligence, term sheet negotiation, legal documentation, interacting with management, transaction execution, and monitoring of holdings. Mr. Rosenblatt is in his second year as an MBA student at NYU Stern School of Business and he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from MIT

Malo Traders
81% of Malians under the age of five are anemic and approximately 50% of deaths can be attributed to malnutrition. In 2009, almost 73 million pounds of potential milled rice - enough to feed 580,000 people for a year - was lost due to the lack of proper storage and processing facilities.

Malo Traders LLC's social mission is to combat extreme poverty and malnutrition by increasing the income of smallholder farmers and providing fortified rice to consumers at an affordable price. We purchase rice paddy from smallholder farmers in Mali at a fair price. We then store the paddy using an environmentally friendly hermetic storage system before processing and fortifying the rice with micronutrients. The finished product is and sold to urban consumers and humanitarian relief agencies.

We are initially targeting a market of $173 million with a penetration rate of 6.5% in Year 1. We forecast that we will reach a market share of 15% by Year 5. We are targeting two groups of customers. The first is the urban consumer looking for affordable, nutritious rice and the second is the humanitarian relief agency that administers school feeding programs, food-for-work programs, and intervenes in areas of distress.

By establishing a socially responsible brand and adhering to the highest quality standards, Malo Traders has a unique advantage. Another clear distinction is our ability to produce fortified rice in a manner that is affordable and culturally adapted. Finally, the combination of our management team, superior technology, and commitment to making the well being of farmers and consumers an integral part of our business model sets the bar high for potential competitors to surpass.

We expect to breakeven from an operational standpoint in Year 1 with a gross margin of 16.53% and from a dollar invested standpoint in the first quarter of Year 4. We forecast a cumulative net income of $5.86 million in Year 5 driven by a solid increase in sales and a net profit margin of 11%. This represents a return on equity on 46% for our shareholders.

Based on our Social Impact Analysis, at the end of Year 3, the net purpose value of our intervention is $27 million and $144 million at the end of Year 10. In Year 1, we expect to generate approximately $1.5 million in extra revenue for farmers who sell us their paddy and $11.5 million in savings for customers who purchase our fortified rice. We expect to work with at least 1,467 farmers in Year 1 and produce enough milled rice to meet the daily needs of 250,000 people. By Year 5, we expect to work with at least 3,500 farmers and impact at least 600,000 consumers.

The total initial investment required is just over $4 million. Our financing strategy is the following: a) $1 million in equity from patient capital investors with a seven year exit plan and a valuation of $3.3 million b) $1 million in grants from foundations, governments, and international organizations involved in poverty alleviation, rural development, food security, and malnutrition, and c) a matching loan of $2.5 million at current interest rates secured by the initial investment and guaranteed by assets, land, and buildings. Finally, we will need a working capital loan of $10 million at a 15% interest rate that will be guaranteed by fixed purchased agreements and inventory. However, our immediate objective is to raise $50,000 in order to conduct a holistic proof of concept study in the fall of 2011 prior to building our facility.
 

  [Mohamed Ali Niang]
 
  [Salif Romano Niang]

Biographies

Mohamed Ali Niang is currently a senior at Temple University and expects to graduate in May 2011 with a BBA in International Business/Entrepreneurship and minors in Economics and Corporate Sustainability. He was part of the winning team at the 2010 Center for International Business and Education Research (CIBER) International Case Competition. In addition, he received the 2010 Sol Tutelman Memorial Prize from Temple University, an award given to a student achieving the highest standards in the field of entrepreneurship. He has interned at a variety of organizations dedicated to social change and poverty alleviation including, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Niger, the Women's Opportunity Resource Center in Philadelphia, and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH). During these internships, Mohamed Ali developed valuable experiences and insights into the agriculture and nutritional sector, micro finance, and project management.

Salif Romano Niang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University. He holds bachelors degrees in political science and French Language and Literature from Purdue as well. In May 2010, he received a Purdue Research Foundation grant to fund his dissertation on the effects of large youth cohorts on democratization, development, and conflict. Over the past four years he taught undergraduate courses in international politics, international political economy, and international law at Purdue and has also taught Model United Nations and Advanced Geography at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. In the summer of 2010, he was an intern for the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and co-authored a report on the feasibility of Ultra Rice® with Mohamed Ali.