The Northwood University Florida Entrepreneurship Society recently presented its 4th Annual Entrepreneurship Pitch Contest. The event unveiled a variety of creative student inventions, business start-ups, and growth ideas including a fish catching invention for spinning reels, a non-profit dedicated to donating goods to hospitalized children, web applications for college students, a cologne club for men, a specialty sauce company, and more. Prizes were awarded to:
- Winner – $1,000: Daniel Diaz, Oxbridge Academy, YEA! – ‘Strike and Snag’ fishing reel attachment invention
- Runner-Up – $300: Sirenia Cebrero and Pablo Hernandez, Northwood University – the “My.Closet” web application
- Third Place – $200: Kayla Ambramowitz, YEA! – “Kayla Cares 4 Kids,” a nonprofit social entrepreneurship project dedicated to providing entertainment and educational items to children’s medical facilities through-out the United States.
Hosting contenders from Northwood University, the Oxbridge Academy, and the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) of North Palm Beach, the event was directed under the guidance of Northwood University’s Dr. Michael Olsher, Chair of Entrepreneurship and George Stamas, Entrepreneur-in-Residence. “This is the first year that Oxbridge and YEA! have been invited to present in the competition,” said Olsher. “We are excited about providing an opportunity for a broader range of students to participate in such a valuable learning experience.”
Judges included Karen Stedman, a Northwood alumna, who is a certified public account and founder/owner of a large local CPA firm; Ron Gaither, a community bank CEO; and Dr. Michael Olsher, the Chair of Entrepreneurship who is a serial entrepreneur, and a former operating executive for major corporations and start-up businesses.
The Northwood University Entrepreneurship Society was created to bring individuals together to network in an environment where their entrepreneurial ideas and concepts for enterprise can be supported and accelerated. With help from one another, the society fosters the future leaders of a free enterprise system, developing both knowledge and character to enable entrepreneurial dreams to become a reality.
In addition to providing students the opportunity to participate in entrepreneurial roundtables and pitch competitions, the program offers Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, business support, mentoring opportunities, workshops, and training opportunities that focus on intellectual property rights, and more. Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches is a private college preparatory high school in West Palm Beach, Florida. Oxbridge Academy serves grades 9–12.
Locally directed by the Northern Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, YEA! is a national program offering classes that transform middle and high school students into confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting behind-the-scenes trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based YEA! approach empowers students to take charge of their futures in a profound way.