Business Spotlight: Crowning New Companies
Three FAU Entrepreneurial Programs Announce Competition Winners
By Paige Russo
For the first time ever, in a combined ceremony, FAU Wave, FAU Adams Center Student Business Pitch Competition and FAU’s Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship program, recognized competition winners, awarding $23,000.
“This year’s participants are a testament to the excellence of innovation and talent coming from FAU’s entrepreneurial pipeline,” said Regina Thompson, strategic and economic initiatives manager in FAU’s Division of Research. “These young professionals have many more opportunities awaiting them in their future endeavors.”
The three entrepreneurial programs are part of FAU’s Innovation and Business Development. Here’s a look at the programs and their winners.
Students in the FAU Wave competition develop creative, innovative projects designed to combat societal problems.
- Rachel Kavalakatt, a student in FAU's Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, won the 2022 Dr. Eric H. Shaw FAU Wave Excellence in Innovation Award of $2,000. Her creation is called CarpalWear, a comfortable, non-bulky wristband and ring set that provides real-time biofeedback signals to patients to properly manage and prevent carpal tunnel when their wrists move in harmful positions.
- Engage Florida, a group of seven students, earned FAU Wave’s 2022 Community Engagement Award and $1,000 prize for their idea to improve scientific communication skills in undergraduate students who conduct their own research and present their findings in an accessible way to local schools. Students include Shalakha Bonthu, Jose Delgado, Hibah Hussain, Joseph Lawless, Bilal Mutluguler, Matthew Pacheco, all from FAU's Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College and Vineet Reddy, from Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.
FAU College of Business’ Adam Center for Entrepreneurship Business Plan
Three game-changing business ideas won cash prizes from FAU College of Business’ Adam Center for Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition, where students pitch their business plans to a group of judges. Here’s a look at this year’s winners:
- Brandon Feinstein earned $10,000 for Fit Oven, which provides busy individuals with restaurant-quality healthy meals from custom-built, state-of-the-art intelligent vending machines that refrigerate, heat up and dispense hot, nutritious meals in 90 seconds or less.
- John Thomerson won $5,000 for his creation of Pet HealthCare Innovations, a pet wheelchair device that provides structural support for dogs with mobility impairment, taking the weight load off the owner and allows for a dog to have a natural position to the bathroom.
- Jack Wachter won $2,500 for SoFlo Cycles, which refurbishes classic, older motorcycles into reliable motorcycles for the used market, taking the guesswork out of buying and delivering high quality motorcycles to riders.
FAU Veteran’s Florida Entrepreneurship Program
In addition, through the FAU Veteran’s Florida Entrepreneurship Program, which provides guidance and mentorship to veterans, two winners were announced.
- August Davis won $1,500 for his idea On French, which creates a way for customers to digitally order a ghost kitchen. The delivery is done by an in-house or third-party service and then sent directly to the customer.
- Andrea Smith earned $1,000 for the development of GG by Amara, which provides holistic, organic personal care products to encourage healthier lifestyles and enhance confidence levels in individuals.
"All the winners were among the most competitive and highest quality we've seen to date resulting in a great event,” said Kevin Cox, Ph.D., senior instructor, and assistant director of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship. “Although only a few winners were crowned and will receive seed funding, all represent very promising ventures which our center will continue to mentor, educate and support throughout their journey."
All three FAU programs are powered by FAU’s Innovation and Business Development.
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