FAU's Business Plan Competition encourages FAU students, faculty, staff and recent graduates to pitch their game-changing ideas for a chance to obtain funding for their new ventures. Along with prize money, teams compete for legal and business services, space at FAU’s Tech Runway and the opportunity to present their business plan to local angel investors, venture capital groups and more.

by JAMES HELLEGAARD | Friday, Apr 19, 2019

Life-Metrics, an activity tracking mobile app, won first place and $10,000 in prize money at the annual Florida Atlantic University Business Plan Competition, recently hosted by FAU’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and the College of Business at the FAU Office Depot Center on the Boca Raton campus.   

Created by Wilkes Honors College student David Gorski, the Life-Metrics app platform establishes quantitative connections between health/usage data and psychological/physical well-being. By bringing together a wealth of data already available with cutting-edge machine learning, Life-Metrics aims to “create a world in which we all know precisely how our habits affect our lives.” Earlier this year, Gorski won $2,500 for his venture as one of the winners of the Kenan Social Engagement Program Scholarship.

“It feels great knowing that people believe in my vision,” Gorski said. “A lot of the work of an entrepreneur is long nights without much direct reward so it’s great to see people, especially other professionals and entrepreneurs, respond so positively to your work. There were a lot of great businesses and presenters at the Business Plan Competition, so to win is a great honor.”

Second prize and $5,000 went to Daisy, a nonprofit organization that aims to facilitate the donation of feminine hygiene products to homeless and at-risk women by selling “period kits” to shelters or homeless resource centers. Daisy’s founder, Amanda Barstow, is also a Wilkes Honors College student and winner of a 2019 Kenan Social Engagement Program Scholarship that provided a $10,000 seed grant for her venture. By participating in the Business Plan Competition, Barstow said she was able to grow both personally and grow her vision for Daisy.

“I was also able to effectively workshop my business plan through suggestions made by various judges,” she said. “There wasn’t one pitch where I didn’t receive useful feedback or an interesting idea to implement. All of this experience would have been reward enough for me but I also ended up with additional seed funding, which will make it possible for me to really get my idea off the ground.”

NERD, an autonomous robotic delivery service specializing in food and snack delivery on college campuses, took third place and $2,500. Using autonomous robots, NERD, which stands for NEarby Robotic Delivery, solves the last-mile delivery problem and helps increase staff and student productivity throughout the day. 

“The biggest thing we gained out of this competition was experience,” said Alexander Roscoe, developer of NERD. “Being engineers, the whole process was a learning process. We were able to make valuable connections as well as gain exposure for our company.” 

The People’s Choice winner of a $1,000 prize was MILÁMU, which aims to help eliminate skin deficiencies and enhance natural beauty by crafting 100 percent natural essential oil blends. The company also offers a line of bracelets and accessories made from semi-precious stones and pearls. To positively affect the community, MILÁMU partners with a different philanthropic organization and donates up to 20 percent of purchases to the cause.

SBA Communications and Paradise Bank were the event’s sponsors.