The UCF College of Business Administration’s Cornerstone course engaged 20 student teams that competed in the Spring 2014 Cornerstone Social Entrepreneurship Competition. The competition is the lab portion of the Cornerstone course, in which students create teams, develop and implement a business-fundraising plan for a cause of their choice. The winners of this year’s Cornerstone Competition are The Hopeful Knights, comprised of team members Chris Jamerson, Peter Calilao, Josh Vogel, Benjamin DeStefano and Greg Maier. Their team provided support for the New Hope for Kids.

16-year-old New Hope for Kids wish child, Genesis Lopez, suffers from spina bifida and has undergone multiple surgeries, shortening her life expectancy. Lopez wishes to go on a Disney Dream Cruise with her family. The Hopeful Knights saw this as an opportunity “to do greatness” and help her dream become a reality.

Through their efforts, the student team has raised almost $5,000, the most in the competition’s history. Josh Vogel attributes a great deal of their success to their custom website where donations could be made to support their cause. The website features two inspiring videos of Lopez’s story.

Other semifinalist teams included:

  • Apex
  • Business Bunch
  • Flexible
  • Force 4 Good
  • Golden Achievers
  • Gryffindor
  • Helping Hands
  • Knight Force Seven
  • Ladies and Gent
  • Super 7
  • Supporting Teachers’ Initiatives
  • Teachers Express
  • Team IgKnighted
  • The Dream Team
  • The Golden Six
  • The Finishing Touch
  • Thundercats
  • Uknighted Way
  • Winning
  • The competition was supported by Jim Balaschak, ‘86 & ‘92, a 2007 inductee to the college’s Hall of Fame, and his wife Debbie, ‘88, both of whom also judged the finals. Other finals judges included Jay Basaria, ‘11; Dean Caravelis, ‘02 & ’03; Carol Ann Dykes; Charles Wheeler, ‘11, MBA, MA, CBA; and Amy Zeh.

    Semi-finals judges included Leslie Connell, ‘94; Phyllis Harris; Chris Leo, Ph.D., ‘05 & ‘11; Chaim Letwin; Katheryn Meagher, ‘00 & ‘08; Richard Quinn; Regan Stevenson; and Shannon Taylor, Ph.D.

    Established in 1968, the UCF College of Business Administration offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and executive levels. All programs, as well as the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting, are accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

    The college provides high-quality academic programs designed to give students a competitive advantage in the world of business now and in the future. As such, the college establishes partnerships with some of the nation’s most innovative leaders to model new and best practices that harness evolving technology. In addition, the college promotes a unique culture of engagement, risk-taking, cross-disciplinary collaboration and data-driven decision making in an effort to ensure students are well prepared to enter a dynamic marketplace.