UT Entrepreneurship Students Compete for $25,000 in Seed Funding

Published: May 1, 2014

Tomorrow, May 2 from 2-4 p.m., leaders of four UT student-run businesses will have the opportunity to present their business plans to local entrepreneurial judges and win $25,000 in no payback seed capital.

The students will present a formal investor business plan presentation, and the judges are from Sherloq Solutions and Florida Funders. The award will be funded on a milestone basis to ensure that each step in the business building process has been evaluated.

The competition, which is part of the Spartan Accelerator program, will be held in the Sykes College of Business.

The competing ventures include MBA student Shea Carpio of CoCo A Chocolate Experience; MBA student Johnny Dalrymple with Mobex, Inc.; and undergraduates Austin Holmes and Kelsey Matthews with College Kids Pass it ON and Brett McQuaide with Safe Stick. These four student businesses have been selected from a group of 10 unique scalable businesses to be launched in Tampa Bay.

The Spartan Accelerator program is designed to help current students and recent alumni grow their business ideas. Each semester students and alumni can apply for this program, which partners with Hillsborough County and Sherloq Solutions to fund entrepreneurial ventures that are scalable and planned to operate in Tampa Bay.

Details of the businesses follow:

  • Carpio is working to develop a unique in-home chocolate experience – picture “Melting Pot” and “Elaborate Dinner Events” fused together. Called CoCo a Chocolate Experience, Carpio plans to host in-home chocolate events with a high yield of profit.
  • Dalrymple has developed a cloud-based telecommunications system that takes traditional IP phone systems and hosts those lines in the cloud. Mobex has working relationship with Verizon FiOS and is expanding to the Boston area with tremendous room for growth.
  • Holmes and Matthews have found a solution to excess dorm room furniture, refrigerators and other miscellaneous items. College Kids Pass it ON is an on-campus business that collects and resells unwanted dorm room items.
  • McQuaide has the perfect device to let you know when your cup of joe is at the perfect drinkable temperature. The Stir Stick features thermochromic ink to measure when a beverage is at a perfect consumption temperature. 

The event is powered by The Sykes College of Business Entrepreneurship Center.

For more information, contact James Zebrowski of the UT Entrepreneurship Center at (917) 280-5452, or james.zebrowski@spartans.ut.edu.